13 May

UNESCO Chair in Bioethics at CERMEL

Training in bioethics is now possible in Gabon. The CERMEL campus will host a UNESCO Chair in Bioethics.

Signature of a UNESCO Bioethics Chair, Ministry of Education and Scientific Research, April 13, 2016. From left to right: Dr. Pierre Blaise MATSIEGUI (Chairman of National Ethics Committee), Mr. Vincenzo FAZZINO (UNESCO, Gabon), Mrs. Denise MEKAM'NE (Ministry of Education and Scientific Research), Professor Christiane DRUML (UNESCO Chair in Bioethics, University of Vienna, Austria),Professor Peter Kremsner (University of Tübingen, Germany and CERMEL, Lambaréné, Gabon).

Studying moral problems raised by research involving human beings is an ongoing concern of research. Especially in Sub-Saharan Africa where many concepts are yet to be adapted and deepened. Biomedical research and applications have experienced considerable growth on the African continent in the past 30 years.

The strict application of international bioethics rules developed by and for Westerners in the aftermath of the Second World War, does not appear as simple in practice. Even if they have framed the emerging work on the continent and have limited the excess and abuse to which the populations concerned could be confronted, it remains important to show researchers and leaders of countries involved in medical research how to develop the skills, as well as personal and legal knowledge essential for the development of specific ethical rules:

"If it is true that bioethics covers todays issue of medical ethics, its originality is to go well beyond the deontology on the various relevant professional practices. It involves thinking about the changes in the society and even global balances brought about by scientific developments and technology "(UNESCO)

Gabon is progressing with the establishment of a UNESCO Chair in Bioethics signed on April 13, 2016 between Dr.Pierre Blaise MATSIEGUI, President of the National Ethics Committee Libreville, Mr. Vincenzo FAZZINO, UNESCO Representative Gabon and Professor Peter Kremsner, Director of the Insitute for Tropical Medicine, Tübingen, Germany and CERMEL, Lambaréné in the presence of Madame Denise MEKAM'NE, Minister of Education and Scientific Research.

Gabon will offer to students, doctors, Gabonese scientists, researchers and other Africans the possibility to get the basic training or deepen their knowledge on the issue. Professor Christiane DRUML, UNESCO chair for bioethics, the University of Vienna, Austria, will be responsible for the training programs provided in CERMEL campus, in collaboration with Vienna Medical University and other European universities

"The opening of this Bioethics Chair" is an important step for the CERMEL campus, said Professor Peter Kremsner in an interview in the newspaper “l’Union” on Thursday, April 14, 2016.