National Ethics Committees (NECs) are in charge of overseeing the ethical development of clinical trials, biomedical research and innovations in human health. However, NECs in Africa are still facing various challenges in the accomplishment of their missions. Among them, NECs located in the West-African French speaking area are reporting an urgent need for networking and coordinating their effort. AFREENET (AFRica Ethics Excellence NETwork) aims to propose a range of activities to reinforce the capacities of three NECs, respectively in Ivory Coast, Guinea and Benin, individually and as a whole. A 3-years common and collaborative program will be shared and declined as follows, under the coordination of Institut Pasteur:
- At the heart of its mission, the aim will be to strengthen the evaluation capacity of NECs, based on their existing practices, through the reinforcement of operational procedures, working methods and day-to-day functioning of the committees. The preparation of Ethics Committees to the potential occurrence of outbreaks will be specifically addressed through an Outbreak preparation plan built up on lessons learnt from the Ebola crisis.
- A comprehensive training program will take place to respond to immediate and long-term needs from basics ethics to specific targeted issues identified as priorities with regards to the fast evolving context of biomedical research. Training capacities will be reinforced on a long-term based strategy with the establishment of new mechanisms to ensure and update new members’ training, and make emerge a pool of ethics trainers.
- Based on AFREENET NECs experiences, a range of actions will take place to share and identify valuable experiences and practices, to strengthen the global ethics oversight. Monitoring activities, regulatory issues and sensitization among research institutes will permit to increase the visibility and recognition of NECs as key actors of a responsible ethics research framework at the national level.
AFREENET outcomes and results from the different WP tasks will be promoted widely, as the basis of an exchange platform and an Excellence Network between NECs. Results shall be valuably shared with a wide range of stakeholders, among which other NECs, research teams, research institutes, international agencies and regulators. Creating synergies with other ethics initiatives during the project will be a core priority and will increase the impact of the project.
- The National Ethics Committee of Côte d’Ivoire – Dr Louis PENALI
- The National Ethics Committee of Guinea – Professor Oumou BAH SOW
- The National Ethics Committee of Benin – Professor Flore GANGBO
List of Workpackages
|1||Reinforcement of Logistics and HR support||Institut Pasteur|
|2||Training program and training capacity||Institut Pasteur|
|3||SOPs and Outbreak preparation plan||CNERS of Guinea|
|4||Strengthening the Global Ethics Oversight||CNERS of Benin|
|5||Networking and Dissemination||CNESVS of Côte d’Ivoire|
|6||Coordination and Management||Institut Pasteur|
Newsletter 1 – October 2018