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Gabon establishes national ethics committee
Date:3/26/2009

This release is available in French.

As the number of health research conducted in sub-Saharan Africa increases, so does the need for improved review of the ethical and scientific rigour of these trials. As we work on increasing the quality of research, we should also work on ensuring the safety of research participants. The recently established National Bioethics Committee of Gabon, which was established with the help of a grant from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), is an example of the progress made to safeguard the well-being of African study participants.

The newly formed National Bioethics Committee for research of Gabon currently comprises 19 members that represent the three main Gabonese research institutes (USS Libreville, URM Lambarene and CIRMF Franceville), as well as relevant Gabonese hospitals and ministries. This initiative was started with the help of an EDCTP grant, training support from the Vienna School of Clinical Research, the Government of the Republic of Gabon and a committed team of Gabonese nationals. Consequently, with complementary support of other partners including WHO, UNESCO, AMANET and the Institut Pasteur of Dakar the Committee was officially established.

The committee is now operational and anticipates starting reviewing protocols for clinical trials soon. Negotiations are currently underway to include the committee in UNESCO's Global Ethics Observatory Database. Inclusion in this database means that not only the Committee has proven able to assess research, but that is also able to advise on ethical problems, formulate recommendations and foster debate, education and public awareness.

Why every country must have a National Ethics Committee

All clinical trials involving human participants must be reviewed and approved by a competent and
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Contact: Ilona van den Brink
media@edctp.org
31-703-494-422
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Source:Eurekalert

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