The two EDCTP-funded projects LiberHetica and SERCLe met on 16 April 2021. Both projects primarily aim at strengthening the clinical trials oversight capacity at the ethics institutions, respectively in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Similarities and complementary differences between projects were discussed and potential synergies were found during the meeting.
The new opportunities of collaboration identified will be developed, with the ultimate goal to further increase the impact of the projects, especially regarding the protection of participants in biomedical research and to promote the safety and efficacy of medicines in development.
The African and European representatives from the EDCTP-funded project LiberHetica and the RegTrain-VaccTrain project lead byPaul Ehrlich Institute (under the Global Health Protection Programme established by the German Federal Ministry of Health) met on 13 April 2021.
The LiberHetica project primarily focuses on strengthening the clinical trials oversight capacity at National Ethics institutions (NREB andUL-PIRE IRB), while RegTrain-VacTrain similarly does so at the National Medicines Authority (LMHRA).
The meeting was a first but very fruitful opportunity of exchanging between different but complementary working groups engaged in improving public health in Liberia.
Potential synergies were successfully identified during the meeting, which will be developed in order to further increase the impact of the projects, especially in regards to the protection of the participants in biomedical research and to promote the safety and efficacy of developing and circulating medicines.
The LiberHetica and BERC-Luso projects, both financed by EDCTP, organized on the 26th of March a joint online conference titled: Biomedical Ethics and Regulatory Capacity Building: International Dialogues.
The BERC-Luso and LiberHetica are two projects funded by the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) aimed at strengthening ethics and regulatory capacities for clinical trials by partnerships between African and European countries, and involving 6 Sub-Saharan African countries (Liberia, Angola, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, Mozambique and Cape-Verde) and 2 European countries (U.K. and Portugal).
The state of the art of Ethical and Regulatory capacities especially in field of clinical trials were presented and discussed, with invaluable input from the following national institutional representatives:
Dr.ª Ester Oliveira (Cabo Verde)
Doutor Victor Gomes (Guiné-Bissau)
Dr.ª Telma Chicuamba (Moçambique)
Dr. Jeryson Ramos (São Tomé e Príncipe)
Dr. Jemee Tegli (Liberia)
The conference was very enriching and not only contributed to the exchange of experiences among different countries, but it was also the opportunity to the share achievements and challenges that both projects have faced, and to indentify synergies to increase the impact and long term sustainability of these projects.
The LiberHetica andBERC-Luso consortia will meet on the 26th March 2021 to discuss about Biomedical Ethics and Regulatory Capacity Building in Sub-Saharan African countries.
The BERC-Luso and LiberHetica are two projects funded by the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) aimed at strenghting ethics and regulatory capacities for clinical trials by partnerships between African and European countries, and involving 6 Sub-Saharan African countries (Liberia, Angola, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, Mozambique and Cape-Verde) and 2 European countries (U.K. and Portugal).
Although one in Africa and the other in Europe, their common passion for ethics of health research involving humans has led them to get to know each other: they are Jemee Tegli (Coordinator in Liberia of the UL-PIRE-IRB and Coordinator also of the EDCTP-funded project LiberEthica) and Prof. Dominique Sprumont (Founder of Institute of Health Law, University of Neuchatel, Switzerland and Coordinator of TRREE).
Their discussions will certainly succeed in strengthening the collaborations between Africa and Europe so that research meets highest standards of ethics and promotes the welfare of participants.
EUREC is a network that brings together already existing national Research Ethics Committees (RECs) associations, networks or comparable initiatives on the European level. The network promotes capacity building and assistance for local RECs to cooperate in the EU European Research Area. As an umbrella organization the network interlinks European RECs with other bodies relevant in the field of research involving human participants like the European Commission’s ethical review system and the European Medical Association (EMA). EUREC cooperates with organizations that support research ethics.
Proud to have Jemee Tegli (Project Coordinator of LiberHetica and UL-PIRE-IRB Coordinator) as speaker of the 2-days workshop on Research Ethics During Epidemics (2-3 December 2020), organized by PANDORA-id-NET, TESA and ALERRT, in collaboration with The Global Health Network TGHN.
The workshop informed the participants about some of the ethical challenges in conducting this research, covering 5 broad topics: Ethics of research in vulnerable populations, Community and stakeholder engagement, Informed consent in epidemic research, Biobanking during epidemics and Ethics review during epidemics.
The capacities strengthening at Liberian National Research Ethic Board – NREB continues tirelessly, as confirmed by the completion of a 3-day clinical research monitoring training course (16-18 October 2020) and the increased functionalities of the website www.nrebliberia.org
Proud to have Gloria Mason, Director for the Liberia National Ethics Review Board and member of the LiberHetica project in the panel of joint online seminars examining the GFBR (Global Forum on Bioethics in Research) and PHEPREN (Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Ethics Network) ethics recommendations in the context of data sharing and research response to COVID-19 pandemic. For more info + registration visit: https://bit.ly/2HF15No
From 2019 the LiberHetica project is strengthening the Liberian research ethics institutions, for the benefit of the public health research in Liberia. Nevertheless, the project activities are proceeding tirelessly as highlighted during the annual meeting held on the 1st October 2020, to which have participated the Liberian and European members of the project consortium. For the news release and further information click here.
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