The SNECFA project (Strengthening National Ethics Committees in West and Central Francophone Africa) is an EDCTP-funded project that seeks to strengthen the capacity of four National Ethics Committees in French speaking countries in West and Central Africa, namely Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Niger. The project focuses on drafting SOPs for the review of research protocols during routine and emergency health situations. The project is nested within the Cameroon Bioethics Initiative (CAMBIN). CAMBIN is a non-profit, non-governmental, non-political, non-discriminatory, multidisciplinary organisation with headquarters in Yaoundé, Cameroon. CAMBIN has an Ethics Review and Consultancy Committee (ERCC), which not only reviews research protocols, but offers consultancy services for biomedical research and ethical review of research.
The objectives of the SNECFA project are as follows: To strengthen the capacity of four NECs in Francophone Africa by providing customised training programmes tailored to the needs of each country and support for registration or renewal of their Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) numbers; to support four NECs in writing and/or revising SOPs for the review of research protocols during routine and emergency situations; to develop and revise TRREE national supplements for the four countries; to disseminate the SOPs and TRREE national supplements through proactive communication programmes; and to facilitate knowledge sharing and exchange between NECs in the region, with particular inclusion of the NECs in Guinea and/or Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that have a unique experience to share related to protocol review during the 2014 Ebola outbreak. So far, four capacity strengthening workshops on Health Research Ethics have been organized with members of the four National Ethics Committee as follows: With the National Ethics Committee of Cameroon (CNERSH), the workshop held from the 25th to the 27th of August 2021; with the National Ethics Committee of Chad (CNBT), from the 20th to the 22nd of October 2021, with the National Ethics Committee of Mali (CNESS) from the 29th of November to the 1st of December 2021, and finally with the National Ethics Committee of Niger (CNERS) from the 23rd to the 25th of March 2022. Discussions during these four workshops centred around four central themes: Health Research Ethics; Ethics Evaluation, Public Health Emergencies and Vulnerability; and Enhancing the Visibility of National Ethics Committees. The workshops brought together National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs), researchers, scientific bodies, ethics institutions, students and other stake holders in the health sector.
To follow SNECFA activities, visit https://cambin.org/projects/ongoing-projects/