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J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics. 2014 Apr;9(2):24-40. doi: 10.1525/jer.2014.9.2.24.

Research ethics capacity building in Sub-Saharan Africa: a review of NIH Fogarty-funded programs 2000–2012.

Author information

  • 1Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe).

Abstract

The last fifteen years have witnessed a significant increase in investment in research ethics capacity development throughout the world. We examine nine research ethics training programs that are focused on Sub-Saharan Africa and supported by the US National Institutes of Health. We collected data from grants awards' documents and annual reports supplemented by questionnaires completed by the training program directors. Together, these programs provided long-term training in research ethics to 275 African professionals, strengthened research ethics committees in 19 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, and created research ethics curricula at many institutions and bioethics centers within Africa. Trainees' leadership resulted in new national systems and policies on research ethics, human tissue storage and export, and methods of monitoring compliance with research ethics guidelines. Training programs adapted to challenges that arose due to varied trainees' background knowledge in ethics, duration of time available for training, spoken and written English language skills, administrative obstacles, and the need to sustain post-training research ethics activities. Our report showcases the development of awareness of research ethics and building/strengthening of basic research ethics infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nevertheless, the increasing amount and complexity of health research being conducted in Sub-Saharan Africa suggests the need for continued investment in research ethics capacity development in this region. This paper is part of a collection of papers analyzing the Fogarty International Center's International Research Ethics Education and Curriculum Development program.

PMID:
24782070
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4280231
Free PMC Article
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