Ethics Committees in Western and Central Africa: Concrete Foundations
Developing World Bioethics 2007 December; 7(3): 136-142
The involvement of developing countries in international clinical trials is necessary for the development of appropriate medicines for local populations. However, the absence of appropriate structures for ethical review represents a barrier for certain countries. Currently there is very little information available on existing structures dedicated to ethics in western and central Africa. This article briefly describes historical milestones in the development of networks dedicated to capacity building in ethical review in these regions and outlines the major conclusions of two workshops on this issue, which were held in September and October 2002 in Libreville, Gabon, and Paris, France. The workshops were the culmination of collaboration between the African Malaria Network Trust (AMANET) and the Pan African Bioethics Initiative (PABIN). They produced an update on ethics organizations with regard to mission, function, activities, members, and contact people, in eight countries within the regions discussed. As a result of the commitment of mandated delegates, a further prominent outcome followed these workshops: the creation of national structures, where none existed before, dedicated to the ethical review of clinical trials.
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