The past four decades, have witnessed a significant increase in public health and clinical research being conducted in Mali, driven partly by increasing international research collaborations and the recent Ebola epidemic. This increase in human research, creates an urgent need for improved bioethics leadership, training, policy and research. It is, therefore, critical and timely to ensure that researchers and members of institutional review board (IRB) in Mali have the requisite knowledge, and capacity to ensure the research meets ethical, cultural, and regulatory expectations. To meet the ethics training needs of Mali, we propose a research ethics capacity building program to strengthen research ethics education and research in Mali through an innovative model of sustainable capacity development to prepare the next generation of ethics researchers. This program will be based on close collaboration between two institutions ? the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (GWU), USA and University of Science, Techniques & Technologies of Bamako (USTTB), Mali. The overall goal of the United States-Mali Research Ethics Training Program (US-Mali RETP) is to strengthen research ethics education and research in Mali. Our model will focus on using US and Africa-based expertise to strengthen USTTB?s capacity to develop and lead a new Master?s degree specialization in research ethics and promote a sustainable bioethics enterprise at USTTB through the following specific aims;
Specific Aim 1 : To enhance the pedagogical and curricular strengths of key USTTB faculty to deliver research ethics courses and mentoring in Mali. We will implement a faculty development program for selected Malian faculty aimed at enhancing analytical capacity in ethics research and training. The selected Malian faculty will participate in intensive courses in US, work with GWSPH faculty in developing curricula and co-delivery of ethics curriculum during year 2.
Specific Aim 2 : To develop a research ethics specialization within the existing USTTB Masters of Public Health (MPH) program in order to train a core group of professionals with expertise in research ethics in Mali. We will develop a new curriculum in research ethics within the MPH program at USTTB. The Ethics modules will also be offered as part of a one year Diplome. We will also offer short term training workshops and webinars at USTTB including both basic and advanced topics each year.
Specific Aim 3 : To promote research around key priorities for research ethics in Mali. We will through our trainees conduct relevant national research on ethics to inform public health, training priorities and health care delivery including ethics of research on infectious and emerging diseases as well as genetics and genomics.
Specific Aim 4 : To create a dedicated ?Research Ethics Unit? within USTTB in Mali. We will work to establish an academic Research Unit within USTTB which will coordinate Bioethics research and activities at USTTB and enhance sustainability of our efforts. This unit will also coordinate a national forum to discuss research ethics in Mali in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Mali.
The overall goal of the United States-Mali Research Ethics Training Program (US-Mali RETP) is to strengthen research ethics education and research in Mali through an innovative model of sustainable capacity development to prepare the next generation of ethics researchers. Our approach will be based on close collaboration between George Washington University (GWU) Milken Institute School of Public Health (GWSPH), USA - and University of Science, Techniques & Technologies of Bamako (USTTB), Mali and is aimed at supporting USTTB?s vision of becoming a regional focus for research ethics in French Speaking west Africa. These institutions have a great commitment to understanding the ethical issues around health research, experience and expertise in research and a history of collaborative work and build on their twenty years of experience developing ethics training in Africa and the research environment built at USTTB plus over 25 years of collaboration between USTTB and NIH.