COVID-19: Africa’s relation with epidemics and some imperative ethics considerations of the moment

Research Ethics 16 (3-4):1-11 (2020)
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COVID-19 is a very complex pandemic. It has affected individuals, different countries and regions of the world equally in some senses and differently in other senses. While sub-Saharan Africa has weathered a range of outbreaks of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, the manner in which the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved necessitates some observations, remarks and conclusions from our own situated observation point. Compared to previous epidemics/pandemics, many African countries have displayed a sense of solidarity in the face of COVID-19 that convincingly demonstrates that an Ubuntu ethic is viable and globalizable. The African continent seems, at last, to have realized that ethics dumping must be avoided and has made strides in defining its COVID-19 research agenda and strengthening its epidemic response for both public health and health research. More needs to be done in terms of public engagement, funding and technical support for research on potential therapies/candidate vaccines that are a product of scientific studies on the continent.



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