Log In
Friday 23rd March 2018

African research ethics

24th January 2007

15082006_africainject1.jpgIndependent committees charged with reviewing medical research in African countries are struggling to do their jobs properly, according to a new paper.

Research ethics committees are a crucial step in validating medical research, but African countries have trouble staffing, funding and training them, according to new research published in the online journal PLoS Medicine.

Nonetheless, the number of Africans participating in health research is on the rise, according to the study, which looked at the history and operational structure of 12 research ethics committees in nine African countries.

The biggest problem was funding, with a quarter of the committees studied having no operational budget at all. The rest relied on funding from government or foreign donors and fees paid for ethical review. The study found some committees approved studies simply to secure the fees.

The authors say some committees were hesitant to criticise research proposals, as a clinical study might bring jobs, medicines or prestige to communities in Africa.

There was also a widespread lack of ethical expertise. More established committees were more likely to pay attention to ethical practice.

On January 18, at a national health research conference in Lusaka, Zambian health minister Angela Cifire said there was an "unacceptable" trend of scientists conducting health research in Zambia without ethical clearance.

She called for a Zambian ethical review board to regulate and monitor health research. 


Share this page


There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!

Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Article Information

Title: African research ethics
Author: Sue Knights
Article Id: 1813
Date Added: 24th Jan 2007


African ethics committees still have a long way to go

Recent Related Articles

Pfizer pulls out of Alzheimer's research


Add to scrapbook
Show Comments
Add comment
Find all related articles


Mayden - Innovative cloud-based web development for the healthcare sector
© Mayden Foundation 2018