Low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) need to do research to achieve improvements in public health, which comes with the imperative to do research ethically. Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have continuously strengthened their capacities to advance ethical research over the past few decades, though challenges remain in ensuring that all research is ethical.
A systemic approach for research ethics was therefore deemed a regional priority. Improving ethics preparedness for emergencies that would incorporate the lessons learned from Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks was also prioritised.
In response, PAHO's Regional Program on Bioethics devised strategic lines of action to strengthen research ethics systems and enhance emergency ethics preparedness. Corresponding objectives and indicators, aimed at assessing a country's research ethics systems and triggering action, were developed after a review of the literature and the scrutiny of bioethicists from the region.