WACCBIP Holds Second Bioethics Workshop in Bamako, Mali
As part of the WACCBIP-DELTAS programme, the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) organised its second Bioethics Training Workshop for postdoctoral fellows and stakeholders from institutions across the West African sub-region, with support from the Malaria Research and Training Centre (MRTC) at the University of Sciences, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako (USTTB). The five-day workshop, facilitated by Prof. Mahamadou Diakite, Prof. Samba Diop, Prof. M. Thera, and Dr. M. Dembele from USTTB, was held at the Azalai Le Grand Hotel in Bamako, Mali from November 27th to December 1st, 2017.
The opening ceremony of the workshop was attended by officials from USTTB, representatives from WACCBIP, and workshop participants. Prof. Diakite, Professor of Immunology and Genetics at MRTC, USTTB, and host of the workshop, warmly welcomed all invited guests and participants to Bamako, Mali. He emphasized that this workshop will provide a platform for all participants to share their personal and professional experiences on bioethics through discussions scheduled over the five-day period. Prof. Gordon Awandare, Director of WACCBIP, gave his opening remarks and stated that the MRTC at USTTB was one of the major partners of WACCBIP on the DELTAS initiative. He noted that, as part of this partnership, the MRTC was currently hosting two postdoctoral fellows and one PhD fellow from WACCBIP. He revealed that the workshop was the brain child of Prof. Diakite. According to him, Prof. Diakite had initially wanted to develop a Master’s programme in Bioethics as part of the DELTAS Africa initiative but, due to the lack of experts in this field, a decision was made to start with a regional annual bioethics training workshop to build capacity, and hopefully scale up to a Master’s programme in the near future. Prof. Seydou Doumbia, the Dean of the Faculty for Medicine, also welcomed all guest and participants and threw more light on the importance of the workshop. He emphasized that the workshop was aimed at exploring contemporary and significant topics in bioethics. He encouraged all participants to fully engage with the facilitators of the course. Prof Ouateni Diallo, the Vice Rector of USTTB officially opened the workshop. He mentioned that the workshop participants were drawn from various countries across the sub-region and encouraged them to share ideas from their different experiences.
The workshop was aimed at building the capacity of participants on responsible conduct of scientific research, with emphasis on key ethical issues related to genomics research in Africa. Some topics discussed included: the introduction to bioethics; ethical issues in genomic research; key concepts in genomics studies; ethics in research publication; bioethics in epidemics, emergencies and disasters; community engagement; sample export and shipping requirements; and privacy and confidentiality.