Ethical Medical and Biomedical Practice in Health Research in Africa

African countries have an urgent need for research to battle the diseases that ravage their populations and hamper their economic and social development. This research entails both benefits and risks for the people involved. Particular effort must be made to respect their integrity, all the more so because they are poor and vulnerable. Unfortunately, the literature reveals several cases of research studies that do not conform with international ethical standards and that do not necessarily address the health needs and priorities of the countries in which they take place.

This project aims to ensure greater respect for the dignity of Africans and African populations participating in health research projects. The idea is to make sure that the participants receive any benefits that might result from the research, while minimizing any risks to individuals and the environment that it might entail. Researchers will examine the main cases where ethical problems have occurred, and review the juridical and institutional framework in the countries involved. Then, they will propose an ethical framework for health research and put forward the basic elements of a training course for professionals, researchers and decision-makers in the area of bioethics and health and the environment. The work will be carried out in three West African Countries (Bénin, Cameroon and Nigeria), in collaboration with researchers from Côte d'Ivoire and Canada (University of Montreal).

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Monday, February 15, 2010

End Date

Friday, May 10, 2013


36 months

IDRC Officer

Godt, Sue

Total funding

CA$ 337,100


North of Sahara, South of Sahara, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Canada


Maternal and Child Health

Project Leader

Benjamin Fayomi


Université d'Abomey-Calavi

Institution Country