Ethics & Engagement across the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programmes
My thoughts about fieldworkers at Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust (MLW) grew into a passion in 2013 when Dorcas visited the institution; because of her visit Science Communication department organized a meeting for her to interact with this group of staff who since then were working in their different projects without knowing each other’s role. Personally I didn’t attend the meeting because of other commitments at a field site but upon my return each fieldworker who attended the meeting shared with me crucial issues that came up while interacting with Dorcas, at the end of my conversation with each one of them the question that they kept on asking was about what will be our next step to make sure that the fieldworkers’ are well placed and recognized at MLW.
The question gave us a lot to think about. This is why together with Social Science team, operations and science communication we applied for a bursary to carry out a research to go deep into the issues that were shared by fieldworkers at the first meeting. So far the protocol has been finalized and is ready for submission to College of Medicine Research Ethics Committee (COMREC), the only setback that we have met at the moment is that there is a discussion going on between MLW senior management and COMREC concerning the issue of overheads; initially all studies funded by Wellcome trust were exempted from paying overheads but now the practice is yet to change and we are requested to do so, at the moment all submissions from MLW have been suspended until the issue is sorted out. Our next plan is to have everything in order to proceed with data collection soon after the approval from the the board.
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