Seminar Series: Strengthening Ethical Practice at the Frontline of Global Health Research: Reflections on Opportunities and Challenges by Sassy Molyneux and Dorcas Kamuya

Monday, Jan 31, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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In this seminar Profs Sassy Molyneux and Dorcas Kamuya will share work they have collaborated on across three main inter-related themes from their institutional base at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust research programme in Kenya: understanding ethical dilemmas faced by frontline staff in conducting their research; introducing support processes for frontline staff; and strengthening institutional community engagement.  Their presentation will include recent outputs, including an embedded video and an animation.

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Sassy Molyneux is Professor in Global Health based, Oxford, and a senior researcher at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kenya, where she was based for 28 years.  Sassy is an interdisciplinary researcher, with a background in human geography and behavioural studies.  Her current main research interests span health policy and systems research (governance, finance, responsiveness to patient and public priorities and needs, and treatment-seeking), and empirical ethics, including the everyday ethics of frontline health provision and of conducting studies in resource poor settings.  Cross-cutting areas of interest include:

  • producing new thinking, evidence and recommendations around vulnerability and agency among research participants and communities, and researchers responsibilities in these contexts; and b)
  • initiatives aimed at strengthening accountability processes in biomedical research and health delivery in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sassy provides strategic support around ethical issues that emerge during research across the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust programme in Kenya, and contributes to social science, health systems research, community engagement and research ethics training at the centre and internationally.

Dorcas Kamuya is a Wellcome Trust Society & Ethics fellow and current Head of the Health Systems and Research Ethics (HSRE) Department at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme. Her fellowship research is an empirical ethics examining if and how communities could be engaged on complex ethical topics, with bio-banking as a case study. As a social science researcher in LMIC, her research interests span several interrelated areas: ethical and social-cultural issues around emerging technologies (biobanking, machine learning); the value of community and public engagement in health research; ethical dilemmas for frontline research workers; and responsibility of researchers and research institutions conducting research in resource-limited contexts. Dr. Kamuya is primarily based at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) in Kilifi, Kenya; is a member of several collaborative initiatives including Global Health Bioethics Network, Africa Ethics Working Group (AEWG) on Neuro-disability studies; International Association of Bioethics (IAB), among others.