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Kombe F.,KWTRP | Anunobi E.N.,University of Alabama | Tshifugula N.P.,University of Namibia | Wassenaar D.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | And 5 more authors.
Developing World Bioethics | Year: 2014

African researchers and their collaborators have been making significant contributions to useful research findings and discoveries in Africa. Despite evidence of scientific misconduct even in heavily regulated research environments, there is little documented information that supports prevalence of research misconduct in Africa. Available literature on research misconduct has focused on the developed world, where credible research integrity systems are already in place.Public attention to research misconduct has lately increased, calling for attention to weaknesses in current research policies and regulatory frameworks. Africa needs policies, structural and governance systems that promote responsible conduct of research.To begin to offset this relative lack of documented evidence of research misconduct, contributors working in various research institutions from nine African countries agreed to share their experiences to highlight problems and explore the need to identify strategies to promote research integrity in the African continent. The experiences shared include anecdotal but reliable accounts of previously undocumented research misconduct, including some 'normal misbehavior' of frontline staff in those countries.Two broad approaches to foster greater research integrity are proposed including promotion of institutional and individual capacity building to instil a culture of responsible research conduct in existing and upcoming research scientist and developing deterrent and corrective policies to minimize research misconduct and other questionable research practices. By sharing these experiences and through the strategies proposed, the authors hope to limit the level of research misconduct and promote research integrity in Africa. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Kamuya D.M.,KEMRI | Marsh V.,Kenya Medical Research Institute | Kombe F.K.,KEMRI | Geissler P.W.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Molyneux S.C.,University of Oxford
Developing World Bioethics | Year: 2013

There is wide agreement that community engagement is important for many research types and settings, often including interaction with 'representatives' of communities. There is relatively little published experience of community engagement in international research settings, with available information focusing on Community Advisory Boards or Groups (CAB/CAGs), or variants of these, where CAB/G members often advise researchers on behalf of the communities they represent. In this paper we describe a network of community members ('KEMRI Community Representatives', or 'KCRs') linked to a large multi-disciplinary research programme on the Kenyan Coast. Unlike many CAB/Gs, the intention with the KCR network has evolved to be for members to represent the geographical areas in which a diverse range of health studies are conducted through being typical of those communities. We draw on routine reports, self-administered questionnaires and interviews to: 1) document how typical KCR members are of the local communities in terms of basic characteristics, and 2) explore KCR's perceptions of their roles, and of the benefits and challenges of undertaking these roles. We conclude that this evolving network is a potentially valuable way of strengthening interactions between a research institution and a local geographic community, through contributing to meeting intrinsic ethical values such as showing respect, and instrumental values such as improving consent processes. However, there are numerous challenges involved. Other ways of interacting with members of local communities, including community leaders, and the most vulnerable groups least likely to be vocal in representative groups, have always been, and remain, essential. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Kamuya D.M.,KEMRI | Theobald S.J.,Social Science and International | Munywoki P.K.,KEMRI | Koech D.,KEMRI | And 3 more authors.
Developing World Bioethics | Year: 2013

Fieldworkers (FWs) are community members employed by research teams to support access to participants, address language barriers, and advise on culturally appropriate research conduct. The critical role that FWs play in studies, and the range of practical and ethical dilemmas associated with their involvement, is increasingly recognised. In this paper, we draw on qualitative observation and interview data collected alongside a six month basic science study which involved a team of FWs regularly visiting 47 participating households in their homes. The qualitative study documented how relationships between field workers and research participants were initiated, developed and evolved over the course of the study, the shifting dilemmas FWs faced and how they handled them. Even in this one case study, we see how the complex and evolving relationships between fieldworkers and study participants had important implications for consent processes, access to benefits and mutual understanding and trust. While the precise issues that FWs face are likely to depend on the type of research and the context in which that research is being conducted, we argue that appropriate support for field workers is a key requirement to strengthen ethical research practice and for the long term sustainability of research programmes. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Christensen D.L.,Copenhagen University | Christensen D.L.,Steno Diabetes Center | Faurholt-Jepsen D.,Copenhagen University | Birkegaard L.,Copenhagen University | And 8 more authors.
Annals of Human Biology | Year: 2016

Background: The relationship between metabolic disease and the non-modifiable risk factors sex, age and ethnicity in Africans is not well-established.Aim: This study aimed to describe sex, age and ethnicity differences in blood pressure (BP) and lipid status in rural Kenyans.Subjects and methods: A cross-sectional study was undertaken among rural Kenyans. BP and pulse rate (PR) were measured while sitting and fasting blood samples were taken for analysis of standard lipid profile. Standard anthropometric measurements were collected. Physical activity energy expenditure was obtained objectively and lifestyle data were obtained using questionnaires.Results: In total, 1139 individuals (61.0% women) participated aged 17-68 years. Age was positively associated with BP and plasma cholesterol levels. Sitting PR was negatively associated with age in women only (sex-interaction p < 0.001). Ethnicity did not modify any of the age-associations with haemodynamic or lipid outcomes. Differences in intercept between women and men were found in all parameters except for diastolic BP (p = 0.154), with men having lower HDL-C but higher values in all other cardiovascular risk factors.Conclusion: BP and plasma cholesterol levels increase with age at a similar gradient in men and women, but absolute levels of the majority of the risk factors were higher in men. © 2015 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved: reproduction in whole or part not permitted.


Christensen D.L.,Copenhagen University | Christensen D.L.,Steno Diabetes Center | Faurholt-Jepsen D.,Copenhagen University | Faerch K.,Steno Diabetes Center | And 6 more authors.
Acta Diabetologica | Year: 2014

Little is known about the pathophysiology of diabetes in Africans. Thus, we assessed whether insulin resistance and beta-cell function differed by ethnicity in Kenya and whether differences were modified by abdominal fat distribution. A cross-sectional study in 1,087 rural Luo (n = 361), Kamba (n = 378), and Maasai (n = 348) was conducted. All participants had a standard 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Venous blood samples were collected at 0, 30, and 120 min. Serum insulin was analysed at 0 and 30 min. From the OGTT, we assessed the homoeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance by computer model, early phase insulin secretion, and disposition index (DI) dividing insulin secretion by insulin resistance. Abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) thickness were carried out by ultrasonography. Linear regression analyses were done to assess ethnic differences in insulin indices. The Maasai had 32 and 17 % higher insulin resistance than the Luo and Kamba, respectively (p < 0.001). Early phase insulin secretion was 16 % higher in the Maasai compared to the Luo (p < 0.001). DI was 12 % (p = 0.002) and 10 % (p = 0.015) lower in the Maasai compared to the Luo and Kamba, respectively. Adjustments of SAT (range 0.1-7.1 cm) and VAT (range 1.5-14.2 cm) largely explained these inter-group differences with the Maasai having the highest combined abdominal fat accumulation. The Maasai had the highest insulin resistance and secretion, but the lowest relative beta-cell function compared to the Luo and Kamba. These differences were primarily explained by abdominal fat distribution. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Italia.

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