KAVI – Institute of Clinical Research Bioethics Training Workshop

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Participants from Africa International University (AIC) and United States International University (USIU) pictured with trainers during the March 2017 Bioethics Training Workshop at KAVI - ICR.


“Compared to just a few years ago, there are many more research institutions, and therefore an increased need for bioethics support,” opened Professor Walter Jaoko, the Deputy Director of KAVI – ICR. Prof. Walter Jaoko, Dr. Gaudensia Mutua, Jacqueline Nyange, Bashir Farah and the institute’s Director Prof. Omu Anzala  were among the trainers from KAVI – ICR conducting the Bioethics Training Workshop held from 1st to 3rd of March 2017.

If there was one take-home message, it’s that there are no easy answers in bioethics; this was typified in the spirited debates regarding issues presented as case studies over the course of the training.

One such example: a volunteer in a product trial is injured, and cannot afford medical care. What is the duty of the researcher to the participant if the injuries are outside of the study? What is the role, if any, of the ethics committee which approved the study? The answer, of course, is that there is simply not one perspective or approach to be applied absolutely.

As the body mandated to “regulate and assure quality in the science, technology and innovation sector”, the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) requires any institutional review board (IRB) or ethical review committee (ERC) to undergo bioethics training; KAVI – ICR conducts these trainings in collaboration with NACOSTI.

Aside from the lively discussions, sessions included learning about unethical research practices in history, community involvement in research, studies concerning vulnerable groups, data safety monitoring, legal aspects of bioethics and the formation of standard operating procedures.

As the participants had been appointed by their institutions to sit in ethical review committees, the training also explored: the role of such committees, essential elements of a research proposal and the review process to be followed.

“The role of IRBs is to facilitate research and not to frustrate it,” Prof. Walter Jaoko emphasised to participants – mostly from African International University and United States International University, and with that pertinent message brought the three day workshop to a close.


By Joy Muthure – jmuthure@kaviuon.org


KAVI Institute of Clinical Research (KAVI-ICR)

College of Health Sciences

University of Nairobi

P.O. Box 19676 - 00202




Telephone: +254-20-2717694/2725404


Mobile: +254-722-207417


Fax: +254-20-2714613


E-mail: kavi@kaviuon.org


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