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Lancet Oncol. 2006 Dec;7(12):1027-33.

Establishment of ethical oversight of human research in El Salvador: lessons learned.

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St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.


Human research is necessary for establishing the best approaches to health care, and should be overseen by a functional research ethics committee. However, in most low-income countries these committees are inadequate in providing the guidelines needed to ensure that ethics remain a prominent feature of human research. We developed a model of interaction with key institutions in low-income countries that had an interest in improving the infrastructure of human participant research. As a result, a research ethics committee was established at three hospitals in El Salvador. The skills gained from developing these committees and the interest shown by the Salvadoran government in rigorous ethical oversight of research involving human participants has allowed the creation of a national ethics committee, which serves as an entity to establish norms and guidelines for further development of research ethics committees in El Salvador. This model of interaction can also be used by institutions in high-income countries to create and strengthen the capacity for ethics in human research in low-income countries.

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