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Dev World Bioeth. 2018 Jun;18(2):165-170. doi: 10.1111/dewb.12185. Epub 2018 Feb 15.

The benefit sharing vision of H3Africa.


One of the central ethical tenets of research in developing countries is the sponsor's obligation to benefit host participants and communities. Two known models of benefits provision dominate the ethical discourse of research in developing countries. The first model, known as the "reasonable availability," endorses the obligation to provide interventions proven to be effective at the end of a study. This contrasts with the second model, known as "fair benefits," which endorses other forms of benefits that host communities may deem as fair beyond those derived directly from the study's findings. This paper explores a third benefit model consistent with the writings of the Human Hereditary and Health in Africa (H3Africa) research initiative. The H3Africa-a North-South collaborative initiative predicated by U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Wellcome Trust and the African Society of Human Genetics upholds a benefit model that endorses capacity building as the primary obligation of its research agenda. This is evident by the endorsement of mechanisms to strengthen capacity building in its research projects. While capacity building remains a plausible means of improving the expertise, quality and independence of research in Africa, sustainable measures are needed to realizing the full potential for African-led research on the continent.


H3Africa; benefit sharing; capacity building; fair benefit; genomic research; reasonable availability

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