The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded the FABTP and University of Zambia a G-11 grant to improve the University of Zambia Biomedical Research Ethics Committee(UNZABREC). The project has the goal of Enhancing Management and Performance of the Office and Work of the Ethics committee for Research (EMPOWER) in Zambia.
The FABTP EMPOWER project to strengthen UNZABREC capacity in both ethical quality and administrative efficiency builds on and complements the strong research presence of Johns Hopkins University (JHU), not only in bioethics related collaborations but working on research projects more broadly in Zambia. There are at least eleven different HIV-related studies, and multiple additional studies on other topics, on which JHU collaborates with colleagues in Zambia. These studies each require efficient and high quality, local ethics review – a goal our Zambian colleagues agree is both critical but currently only variably realized. There are three co-Principal Investigators (co-PIs) for this work: Drs. Nancy Kass and Adnan Hyder from JHU and Dr. Charles Michelo from UNZA. The three co-PIs will have shared responsibility for oversight of all aspects of training, capacity development and budget and will together serve as the Executive Committee for EMPOWER.
The NIH funding will allow the EMPOWER project to carry out several core program activities. EMPOWER will support one UNZABREC member or staff to attend a one month intensive program at JHU each year; this will be in addition to one person from UNZA supported by FABTP annually. EMPOWER will also support system evaluation, seminars and webinars.
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