The current situation of health research and ethics in Sudan

Dev World Bioeth. 2004 Dec;4(2):154-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-8731.2004.00090.x.


At the beginning of the twentieth century, health research in the Sudan developed primarily as a function of the colonial British administration. Ethical issues in the medical profession in the Sudan are governed by the Sudan Medical Council. To address these issues, the Sudan Medical Council issued Medico-legal and Ethical Guidelines in 1967. This important document has focused principally on ethical issues arising in clinical medicine. Throughout the history of health research in Sudan it is very difficult to find any reference to research ethics. Nevertheless, there have been a few attempts to articulate ethics in health research. In 1979, Sudan witnessed the establishment of the first ethical review committee, which was established by the initiative of a group of doctors and scientists from the national health research laboratory. This committee got neither political nor institutional recognition. Therefore, it was not developed and came to an end shortly after its inception. Yet, in 2000 the FMOH established an ethical review committee (ERC). The functions of this committee were to review proposals of health research to be carried out in the country for ethical issues irrespective to the funding agents. Unfortunately, the committee devoted all the jobs in reviewing only externally-sponsored health research and research carried out by expatriate researchers or international organisations.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / history
  • Biomedical Research / organization & administration*
  • Ethics Committees, Research / history*
  • Ethics Committees, Research / organization & administration*
  • Ethics, Research
  • History, 20th Century
  • Human Experimentation
  • Humans
  • Politics
  • Public Policy
  • Sudan