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Two French physicians have recently discussed the ease with which to conduct 2019 (COVID-19) clinical research in African countries and have suggested that vaccine and treatments in such nations have lower ethical and safety measures than in other countries. It is inappropriate to say that the performance of the clinical trial is lower in Africa. Health approaches with a high ethical respect for its people were revolutionary and implemented in Africa.

In March, The Academy of Science of South Africa highlighted that COVID-19 research and development in Africa “are a crucial factor in response to outbreaks of new and re-emerging pathogens.” African clinical research sites are ready to exploit their skills and their resources, along with a determination of African nations to help their communities find efficient solutions.

Currently, COVID-19 has infected 5 million people all over the world and caused 328 000 deaths as a result of sever acute respiratory syndrome – coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). There are currently more than 95,000 cases of infection in Africa and over 3,000 deaths across the Continent, with Egypt (14,000) registering infection only after South Africa (18,000).

Africa has, however, struggled for a long time against the morbidity and deaths of transmittable diseases, including endemic TB, Ebola virus disease and malaria. The brunt of the epidemic of HIV / AIDS has taken place in Sub-Saharan Africa, with half the annual global infections. Africa is again facing a new pandemic and needs to be helpful in identifying solutions for both the continent and the world.

In the development of new medical products, Africa, a consumer of health products, played an important role. Based on the need to enhance local public health, international research teams with African scientists, clinicians and community-based advocates have developed highly collaborative partnerships.

HIV / AIDS was a death sentence across Africa at the turn of the millennium, for example. This was no longer the case. Nowadays, many of the world-wide antiretrovirals tested and found to be safe for people with advanced AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. New preventive instruments were established by the extensive involvement of Africa ‘s women in Clinical HIV / AIDS research.

The Guidelines for TB and AIDS therapies, cryptococcal meningitis contaminated, immune reconstitution syndrome, implementing pediatric antiretroviral therapy and evaluation of new clinical approaches to treat drug-resistant TB were developed as well in Africa. TB treatment guidelines were also developed. Malaria and Ebola virus vaccines have also been tested throughout Africa. TB prevention applicants were recently screened, a required precondition for deployment in North, Midwest, Central and Southern Africa.

Strong community involvement with clinical research, the ethical conduct of this study, and the supervision, evaluation and review of research in Africa formed key components of Africa ‘s contributions to this endeavor. The partnerships required for the effective management of COVID-19 must also be guided in these principles. Local groups in clinical research , for example, should be considered collaborators. Ethical and regulatory approval should be available in all research. The highest quality for COVID-19 care and prevention should be upheld at international and national level.

Several African countries are now planning for clinical trials with various foreign collaborators of COVID-19 therapies and vaccines. The Chloroquine Repurposing Test for Novel Coronavirus Mitigation Workers (supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Washington University School of Medicine) has been applied for ethical and regulatory approval from Cameroon, Zambia , Zimbabwe, Uganda and South Africa. In order to determine whether treatment options slow the progression of COVID-19, or improve survival, Nigeria, Tunisia, Egypt, or South Africa have signed up for a Solidarity Trial [supported by the World Health Organization and partners] to help them.

National regulatory and national commissions for ethics across Africa have agreed to bring their expertise together to expedite the clinical trial review and approvals of new COVID-19 multinationals in the field of prevention , diagnosis and therapy. Although each country is solely responsible for granting regulatory approval, this agreement was reached on the African Vaccines Regulatory Forum platform at a virtual meeting convened by the WHO on 1 April 2020.

In Africa, COVID-19 trials will be performed according to highest standards of ethics and safety, as with so many other diseases. It would be a life-threatening error to exclude Africa.

Data Source: AAAS

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