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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Training and awareness

Training and awareness

The Centre is committed to increasing awareness and research into ethics and community engagement involving biomedical research. 

Increasing awareness in ethics and research

With the increasing number of genetics and genomics research in Low- and Middle Income Countries (LMIC), exploring the social, ethical and cultural implications of such types of studies is crucial in understanding the concerns and issues of the people living in these countries. In addition, scientists in LIMC have done little to influence the public, including policy makers, governments, and researchers in other fields. This gap must be bridged by developing community engagement strategy and work towards its execution to translate research findings to better life.

While at King’s College London, Prof Bobbie Farsides, together with her PhD student Susan Bull, pioneered the Rapid Ethical Assessment (REA) methodology for information provision and consent processes in developing countries. The REA approach proposes that, prior to conducting research in a new setting, research teams should commit to a short, social and concentrated scientific examination of the site, concentrating on issues that could be relevant to recruitment, consent, information provision, data storage and reporting. This assessment then allows a study protocol to be introduced in a manner sensitive to the needs and preferences of the local population, making recruitment and retention of participants more successful.

During her time here at the Wellcome Trust Brighton and Sussex Centre for Global Health Research, Prof Farsides joined with Prof Davey to supervise Dr Adamu Addassie who looked at the feasibility of introducing the REA approach in an Ethiopian setting. In the course of his studies Dr Addassie used the approach across a wide range of study types and settings and when he published his thesis it had significant impact within his country. The Centre was able to meet with members of the national ethics committee, health officials and researchers to discuss how wider adoption of the REA approach would support ethical governance in Ethiopia. 

Ethics - Bobbie Farsides

adamu post defence

Adamu Addissie MD PhD
Addis Ababa University School of Public Health

I received a Wellcome Trust Doctoral Fellowship Grant to pursue my PhD studies in medical ethics and began my research into the ‘Adoption of Rapid Ethical Assessment (REA)’as a practical method for assessing ethical issues relating to biomedical research projects in Ethiopia. I focused on the ethics of global health research in general, but with a priority on the Ethiopian experience, piloting the REA tool in order to all researchers to tailor informed consent processes to various settings and needs. I was able to develop practical guidelines for researchers and REA is now being more widely employed by researchers. This has led to a subsequent grant to further explore the role of REA in medical research. 


Links with Lusaka

Links with Lusaka

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Association of Physicians Developing Links with Developing Countries 

Leena Al-Hassan web

Dr Leena Al-Hassan

A PhD researcher from the University of Khartoum recently visited BSMS to undertake research tuition with Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Leena Al-Hassan. The visit was part of the Association of Physicians Developing Links with Developing Countries grant, awarded to Prof Melanie Newport and Dr Al-Hassan. Einas Awad, from the Institute of Endemic Diseases at the University of Khartoum, was trained on using Multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) as a technique for accurate investigation of epidemiology and diversity. Einas's project investigates Klebsiella pneumoniae, a common bacterium that can cause a wide range of conditions including pneumonia, urinary tract infections, septicaemia, meningitis and diarrhoea. K. pneumoniae is very highly resistant to antibiotics and is problematic in hospital-acquired infections worldwide. Einas is investigating the genetic epidemiology of this bacterium in Sudan as well as characterising the genetic mechanisms of its resistance.