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Ugandans were quick to participate in the master’s-level bioethics programs Fogarty supported at institutions in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. And when the trainees returned home, they began working as a team to develop a national bioethics framework for Uganda, which is now the third largest destination for clinical trials in Africa.

“Fogarty trainees have been very active in developing the research ethics landscape in Uganda,” says Dr. Julius Ecuru, Assistant Executive Secretary of the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST), the government agency that oversees research and development. With Fogarty support, he earned a postgraduate diploma in international research ethics from the University of Cape Town in 2005. He says the experience gave him the inspiration to help bring about many of the reforms that have been instituted in his country.

Although regulation of research in Uganda began in 1970 with formation of the National Research Council, comprehensive national guidelines were not adopted until 1997, to meet the increased demand for review and regulation driven largely by HIV trials. With new issues emerging, and in-country ethics experts now available to consider them, the policies were revised and expanded in 2007 and 2014.

“We felt the guidelines must be driven by some kind of value judgment,” Ecuru explains “Every statement we put in there has an ethical justification of why it is there.”

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Image: Richard Lord for Fogarty via FIC

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Fogarty International Center - Global Health Matter

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