LusoAfro Bio-Ethics – Strengthening bioethics committees in lusophone African region


Project Abstract

In the last decade, in Lusophone African countries, like in other countries from Africa, health research has increased and in response Research Ethics Committees (REC) have been established namely in Universities, Research Centers and Ministries of Health. But RECs in these countries still face a serious lack of staff trained in research ethics, and the “language divide” is an important barrier faced by them, as the main ethics educational resources are only available in English.

Being aware of this issues, and recognizing that although the strengthening of RECs is primarily a national issue, much can be gained by taking advantage of networking, the Mozambique National Bioethics Committee (CNBS), the University Eduardo Mondlane Faculty of Medicine at its Institutional Bioethics Committee (FMUEM), the University Agostinho Neto Faculty of Medicine (FMUAN) and its Independent Ethics Committee (Angola), the Cape Verde University (UniCV), the Institute de Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (IHMT) and the Faculty of Law (FL) from Nova University of Lisbon (Portugal), established a northsouth consortium, in order to strength the ethical framework of African Lusophone Countries (ALC) to conduct clinical trials and health research.

The aim of this project is to strength capacity for health research ethics review in ALC. More specifically the objectives are: to improve institutional and personnel capacities of the three African Lusophone Countries RECs; to enhance the efficiency of clinical trials/health research applications reviews; to promote collaborative/ networking activities in research ethics in Lusophone Countries; to share good practices on Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs), Protocol Review and international regulatory ethical and legal norms and standards and to establish the University of Cape Verde Institutional Review Board.

These objectives will be achieved by implementing several surveys, selfassessment tools and brainstorming; by promoting several training workshops; by developing online educational resources (courses) for research ethics in Portuguese; by establishing an online platform for application reviews in Portuguese; by the production of Guidelines and other documents in Portuguese to support RECs reviews; by creating a collaborative website in Portuguese where research ethics information will be available to all people (RECs members, researchers, students and civil society) and where the main activities of RECs Network for Lusophone Africa will be shared, in line with recent Lusophone initiatives such as Malanje Declaration and Mozambique Letter.

The main actions of this project aim to support sub-Saharan African Lusophone countries to establish and develop robust capacities for ethical review of clinical research.




Comité Nacional de Bioética para a Saúde (Mozambique – Coordinator)

Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical UNL (Participant)

Faculdade de Direito UNL (Participant)

Universidade Agostinho Neto (Angola – Participant)

Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (Mozambique – Participant)

Universidade de Cabo Verde (Cape Verde – Participant)


Project Team

João Schwalbach (Comité Nacional de Bioética para a Saúde – Coordinator)

Maria do Rosário Oliveira Martins (IHMT-UNL)

Ema Cândida Branco Fernandes (Agostinho Neto University)

Emanuel Catumbela (Agostinho Neto University)

Tazi Nimi Maria (Agostinho Neto University)

Isabel Inês Monteiro de Pina Araújo (Cape Verde University)

Zulmira Hartz (IHMT-UNL)

Amílcar Bernardo Tomé da Silva (Agostinho Neto University)

Maria Chimpolo (Agostinho Neto University)

Rassul Nala (Comité Nacional de Bioética para a Saúde)

Jahit Sacarlal (Eduardo Mondlane University)

Jorge Seixas (IHMT-UNL)

Helena Pereira de Melo (FDUNL)

Esperança Sevene (Eduardo Mondlane University)



36 months (April 2018/March 2021)



Funding Entity: European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP). This project is part of the EDCTP2 Programme supported by the European Union

Funding Value: 291496€


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