The Pan-African Bioethics Initiative Network held its kick of meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the 10th of November 2023.
The meeting organized by AHRI in collaboration with WHO/TDR was aimed at revitalizing PABIN, a collaborative effort with a primary goal of promoting and strengthening research ethics in health research across Africa.
Preceding this event, a three-day training workshop was conducted in collaboration with the Strategic Initiative for Developing Capacity in Ethical Review (SIDCER). The workshop was attended by members of ethics review committees from AHRI/ALERT, Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), Addis Ababa University College of Health Science, NRERC, and E-FDA. The workshop discussed topics such as ethical issues in emergency research, clinical investigation, and medical device protocols.
PABIN was established in 2001 as a Pan-African conference on ethics in health research in Lusaka, Zambia, Conference organized by WHO/TDR.
Having its secretariat office at AHRI, the African Network organized annual conferences and provided training in the past, which helped several African institutions in building and strengthening research ethics review committees in member countries. This has been essential in ensuring that research projects adhere to ethical standards and protect the rights and well-being of study participants.
PABIN has also conducted the recognition program for qualified Ethics Review Committees (IRB/IECs) in member countries. This program has acknowledged the ethical rigor and commitment of various institutions, with the Addis Ababa University-College of Health Science, and AHRI/ALERT Ethics Review Committees being the first recognized IRB/ECs in Ethiopia in 2009, followed by the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) Ethics Review Committee in 2011.
The kick-off meeting held in Addis Ababa was a significant step in revitalizing such PABIN’s efforts.
Ethics review is critical in research as it ensures that studies employ the best means to protect study participants from harm, uphold their rights, and maintain scientific integrity. By revitalizing PABIN and strengthening its network, the aim is to further advance ethical standards in health research across the African continent.