A two-day Training in Bioethics and Clinical Research for partners in the Pan- African Network for Rapid Research, Response and Preparedness for Infectious Diseases Epidemics (PANDORA) was conducted for Research Assistants, Study Nurses, Trial Managers, and Administrators to share experiences and best practices in implementing clinical research and resolving ethical issues. The Training was hosted by UNHRO-UVRI from the 21st to the 22nd of February 2023 with support from the EDCTP-PANDORA project. The PANDORA project has a secretariat at the Foundation Congolese pour la Recherche Medical (FCRM), in the Republic of Congo. PANDORA was established on 1 st March 2018 and had from Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria, the Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia in 13 African and 9 European Institutions.
The Training was timely and aimed to refresh participants with the knowledge and basic principles of bioethics and clinical research, given the ongoing research studies. The training modules included helping participants to appreciate the different national and international guidelines and legal frameworks that guide research ethics, specifically, the training involved leading participants to understanding the history and evolution of research ethics, key considerations in the ethical review of research importance, and process of informed consent when carrying out clinical research, getting to know the fundamental principles of ethics and how to resolve ethical issues, preparing for, and managing submission of a proposal to the Research and Ethics Committees (RECs).
The methods of instruction involved open discussions, group work presentations, and sharing experiences by the participants. The facilitators were senior researchers from MRC-LSHTM/UVRI and Makerere University College of Health Sciences. Participants learned how to work in teams and support one another during the submission of research protocols.