Genomic Literacy and Awareness of Ethical Guidance for Genomic Research in Sub-Saharan Africa: How Prepared Are Biomedical Researchers?

Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics
Volume 14 Issue 1, February 2019
http://journals.sagepub.com/toc/jre/current

Genomic Literacy and Awareness of Ethical Guidance for Genomic Research in Sub-Saharan Africa: How Prepared Are Biomedical Researchers?
Olubunmi Ogunrin, Funmilola Taiwo, Lucy Frith
First Published October 25, 2018; pp. 78–87
Preview
Achieving the objectives of rolling out genomic research programs in sub-Saharan Africa depends on how prepared indigenous biomedical researchers are for this type of research. We explored the level of preparedness of biomedical researchers in a sub-Saharan African country using in-depth interviews to obtain data on their understanding of genomics and genomic research and assess their awareness of the scope of the country’s code of health research ethics. Thirty biomedical researchers were interviewed. Only eight were familiar with concepts of genomics, a form of “genomic health literacy.” The majority were not aware of the country’s code of research ethics. This study showed that generally biomedical researchers were not genomic health literate, unaware of the code and its limitations as a source of ethical guidance for the conduct of genomic research. These findings underscore the need for educational training in genomics and creating awareness of ethical oversight for genomic research in sub-Saharan Africa.