Engaging research ethics committees to develop an ethics and governance framework for best practices in genomic research and biobanking in Africa: the H3Africa model

BMC Medical Ethics 20 (1):1-7 (2019)
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Abstract

In the past decade, there has been an increase in genomic research and biobanking activities in Africa. Research initiatives such as the Human Heredity and Health in Africa Consortium are contributing to the development of scientific capacity and infrastructure to support these studies on the continent. Despite this growth, genomic research and biobanking have raised important ethical challenges for key research stakeholders, including members of research ethics committees. One of these is the limited ethical and regulatory frameworks to guide the review and conduct of genomic studies, particularly in Africa. This paper is a reflection on a series of consultative activities with research ethics committees in Africa which informed the development of an ethics and governance framework for best practices in genomic research and biobanking in Africa. The paper highlights the engagement process and the lessoned learned.

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