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Global Health
June 19, 2018

Ethical Guidelines for Genomic Research in Africa

JAMA. 2018;319(23):2371. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.7241

A consortium of African investigators published guidelines for the ethical handling of genomic research and biobanking in Africa. This Framework aims to help African scientists retain control of the trove of genetic information originating in Africa so that it can be used to benefit the health and welfare of people on the continent.

As interest grows in conducting genomics research in Africa because of the continent’s genetic diversity and high disease burden, so has the need to ensure that this research be carried out by African scientists. However, few African institutions can afford the technology to handle large genomic data sets, and African researchers aiming to work on genetics projects are often subject to the terms set by foreign researchers.