From HIV to Malaria to Ebola, health and medical research with human participants in Africa — and the ethical evaluation of that research — has long been conducted by non-African scholars, a circumstance that can present its own ethical challenges. For over a decade, the Fogarty International Center (FIC) at the US National Institutes of Health has funded programs to strengthen capacity among African professionals to provide high quality ethics review of research and conduct their own bioethics research and teaching, leading to significant gains across the continent, according to a study published in BMJ Open.
Nancy Kass, lead author of the study, says, “I have been fortunate to work with many scholars participating in Fogarty bioethics programs. The data we’ve collected indicate that former trainees from sub-Saharan Africa are leaving a tremendously positive mark on the African bioethics landscape, both in terms of service and important scholarship. Their work clearly is making a critical impact on the welfare of communities and on improving health research institutions.”
Kass jointly leads the Johns Hopkins-Fogarty African Bioethics Training Program with Adnan Hyder, both professors at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The Johns Hopkins-Fogarty program has trained African scholars since 2000, and now coordinates the African Bioethics Consortium, a network of US and African institutions working collaboratively to enhance institutional capacities in international research ethics through training, research and service.
The BMJ Open study looks back on the 10 bioethics training programs FIC funded between 2000 and 2011 that were available to African scholars, including the Johns Hopkins-Fogarty program.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.