President Uhuru Kenyatta has told off British scientists plotting to use Kenya as their testing ground for a new coronavirus vaccine.
Speaking at State House, Nairobi, the President said that Kenyans are not “guinea pigs” to be used to prove medical discoveries.
He said that Kenyan research institutions have the capacity to come up with vaccines for the respiratory disease.
“Our institutions like Kemri and the Kenya Primate Centre are working with other teams to seek vaccine for this disease. When they tell us they have developed vaccines to require human testing, we will tell you,” the President said.
He added that Kenyan scientists were not left behind in looking for a solution to the global pandemic.
“They are involved in global effort and I assure you nothing will be done in the dark; we will tell you. So don’t cause fear and panic to fellow Kenyans ,” he said.
The President was responding to reports indicating that Oxford University in the UK had considered Kenya for Covid-19 vaccine trials.
BBC Medical Correspondent Fergus Walsh reported that the UK researchers were headed for Kenya if the vaccine would not produce quick results after trials to a number of UK citizens.
“If the scientists do not get quick results from the UK, there are considering a trial in Kenya where the epidemic of coronavirus will be on the rise,” Walsh said in a broadcast.
The sentiments by the British broadcaster sparked off heavy criticism from ordinary Kenyans and political leaders.
The Kenyans who registered their dissatisfaction across social media platforms said that the Western nations had for a long time dehumanised Africans and other black people.
Narc-Kenya party leader Martha had proposed that the top leaders be in the front-line for trials before other citizens.
“Let them be tested on the members of the Cabinet and the their families and thereafter all elected representatives and senior government officials,” Karua said in a tweet.
Many Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) trooped to the comment section in support of the opposition leader and former presidential candidate.
Similar thoughts to those of Karua were shared by Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina.