Bob Geldof, who rallied artists to rerecord tha charity single to raise funds to fight Ebola in West Africa. Image Credit: AP

It may have already raised millions of pounds for ebola victims — but the latest Band Aid single has been branded “patronising” and accused of perpetuating negative stereotypes about Africa.

The track Do They Know It’s Christmas?, a revised version of the 1984 song, is the fastest selling record this year, with 206,000 sales since its release on Monday.

But Nigerian human rights activist Chitra Nagarajan, 31, said: “It perpetuates stereotypes of conflict, poverty and disease as the single story of the continent.”

Academic Robtel Pauley, 32, of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, who comes from Liberia, one of the countries worst hit by ebola, said the lyrics are “incredibly patronising and problematic”.

She told Radio 4’s Today: “It paints the continent as unchanging and frozen in time. If you look at the revised lyrics, there are references to “them” versus “us”.

“And the fact of the matter is, if you look at countries that have been most affected by Ebola, the vast majority of the population in Sierra Leone is Muslim, the vast majority of the population in Liberia is Muslim. Yes, we know it is Christmas, but not all of us celebrate Christmas.”

Pauley added that it was wrong to suggest every person with ebola will die.

The track includes the line ‘Where... there’s death in every tear’, referring to a nurse who died after catching ebola by wiping away a child’s tear, which Sir Bob Geldof said was the inspiration for the track’s re-release.

British-Ghanaian rapper Fuse ODG said he pulled out of the project because of the lyrics and Abdullahi Halakhe, a policy analyst from Kenya, said the words were “grotesque”, adding: “It was awful 30 years ago, and it’s awful today.”

The 1984 song also came under fire for its lyrics, and U2 singer Bono, who sang in both versions, said he “loathed” a line in the original that said: “Thank God it’s them instead of you.” This year it has been replaced with: “Well tonight we’re reaching out and touching you.”

Organiser Sir Bob Geldof, 63, responded furiously to critics, saying their concerns were a “complete load of b*******”.