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Researchers must work with communities

Written by Delphine Thizy, Target Malaria

So glad to see Abha Saxena, bioethics advisor to the global health non-profit INCLEN Trust International and formerly Coordinator of the Global Health Ethics Unit of the World Health Organisation (WHO), highlighting the paper several colleagues and I published recently on stakeholder engagement.

Her blog in Scientific American highlights why more guidance is needed in this field, in particular for people working in new fields like gene drive and area-wide vector control. We need to have more open and constructive conversations about best practices, and also the fact that there is not a single “right” way to approach these questions. At the end of her piece, Saxena calls for “a conversation about clarifying the terminology and the methodology, and how best to train and develop this expertise for better and more informed public health research”. This is so timely, and I hope supporters and funders of research take this on board and see resourcing of engagement as a core part of technology and science funding.

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