Described as “an illegal trial of an unregistered drug,” a “clear case of exploitation of the ignorant,” and a “violation of Nigerian and international law,” the 1996 trial of Trovan by a pharmaceutical company – Pfizer Inc. – deployed some Nigerian kids in the ancient city of Kano as guinea pigs.

The devastating result led to long years of agitations and legal battles against the American pharmaceutical giant. There were accusations and counter-accusations among the ‘dramatis persona’ but the victims were already gone forever.

Today, 25 years after the ugly experience, the hurting memory is yet to be erased from the consciousness of an average Nigerian, and this seems to have continued to haunt even genuine efforts towards addressing some health concerns.

In Sokoto, a North-western state like Kano, the fears are that the latest victim could be from the ongoing vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as some residents who spoke to this reporter have declined to take the highly recommended jabs against the rampaging virus.


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