Physical SNECFA Steering Committee Meeting

Muna Foundation, Conference Centre, Yaounde, Cameroon

On Tuesday, 23rd May 2023, the very first physical steering committee of the SNECFA (Strengthening National Ethics Committees in West and Central Francophone Africa) Project was held at the Muna Foundation in Yaoundé, chaired by Dr. Mbih Jerome Tosam, the Project Coordinator. The two-day physical Steering Committee Meeting ran from the 23 rd of May to the 24 th of May 2023.

Day One – May 23rd , 2024

Day 1 focused on review and adoption of previous minutes, Update on project deliverables and milestones/work progress, Update on Online Training and capacity strengthening in Health Research Ethics,  Updates on FWA numbers, and Research Ethics Web Profile web.

The meeting started with a welcome address from Dr. Odile, President of the CAMBIN.  She also used the opportunity to announce the passing away of Prof. Sanoussi, the president of CNERS.  She also mentioned some of the recent changes within CNERSH in which everyone has been replaced except for the outgoing Permanent Secretary of CNERSH, Prof. Akomo.

On the Update on project deliverables and milestones/work progress, the project coordinator mentioned that so far about 65 to 80% of tasks under the project have been completed.  He went ahead to mention some of the things that have
been completed such as the capacity-building workshops, the SOP workshops, the joint workshops, and the FWA numbers. On the incomplete aspects, he mentioned the TRREE national supplements which are in progress and will be completed by the end of theyear as well as the profile on the research ethics web. He also added that the publication in an Open Access Journal is still to be done, as well as the participation in the 2023 EDCTP Forum.

On the Updates on the Online Training and Capacity Strengthening in Health Research Ethics, some of the ethics committees mentioned that some members had completed the TRREE raining and others have complained that they have faced some difficulties in trying to do so.

Updates on FWA numbers and Research Ethics Web Profile web. All countries already have their FWA numbers and they were encouraged to use them on their letterheads to increase their visibility. On the Research Ethics Web Profile, the work is still ongoing and the SNECFA team is working to see how these profiles can be created for the different Ethics committees.

 Day 2 – 24 th May 2023
Day 2 focused on the Experience and challenges faced in the utilization of the new CNERS SOPs, Update on the progress of the TRREE national modules and discussions, Updates on the Health Research Web Profiles, Reflections on a possible continuation of the project

On Updates on the progress of the TRREE national modules and discussions,  Dr. Aboulaye Kone  mentioned that some countries have not advanced in the revision of their national modules. On the situation of the SNECFA countries, he mentioned that only Mali has put their national modules online while 2 other countries have made important advancements greatly and will still have their supplements online.

Updates on the Health Research Web Profiles
Dr. Odile in this presentation went through the website – She
navigated through the website and showed the different sections of the website. She showed
the different pages for Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Mali and indicated that information was
missing in the different sections such as information on the committee, the national
documents, the local guidelines, and the ethics review process map. She also demonstrated
how the missing information can be added.

The meeting ended with closing words from all the representatives of the different NECs, the Chair and Vice Chair of CAMBIN, and final words from Dr. Jerome, the project coordinator of the SNECFA Project.

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