Rapid advances in high throughput genomic technologies and next generation sequencing are making medical genomic research more readily accessible and affordable, including the sequencing of patient and control whole genomes and exomes in order to elucidate genetic factors underlying disease. Over the next five years, the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Initiative, funded by the Wellcome Trust (United Kingdom) and the National Institutes of Health (United States of America), will contribute greatly towards sequencing of numerous African samples for (...) biomedical research. (shrink)
Studies on informed consent to medical research conducted in low or middle-income settings have increased, including empirical investigations of consent to genetic research. We investigated voluntary participation and comprehension of informed consent among women involved in a genetic epidemiological study on breast cancer in an urban setting of Nigeria comparing women in the case and control groups.
Background Inadequate knowledge among health care providers (HCPs) and parents of affected children limits the understanding and utility of secondary genetic findings (SFs) in under-represented populations in genomics research. SFs arise from deep DNA sequencing done for research or diagnostic purposes and may burden patients and their families despite their potential health importance. This study aims to evaluate the perspective of both groups regarding SFs and their choices in the return of results from genetic testing in the context of orofacial (...) clefts.Methods Using an online survey, we evaluated the experiences of 252 HCPs and 197 parents across participating cleft clinics in Ghana and Nigeria toward the return of SFs across several domains.Results Only 1.6% of the HCPs felt they had an expert understanding of when and how to incorporate genomic medicine into practice, while 50.0% agreed that all SFs should be returned to patients. About 95.4% of parents were willing to receive all the information from genetic testing (including SFs), while the majority cited physicians as their primary information source (64%).Conclusions Overall, parents and providers were aware that genetic testing could help in the clinical management of diseases. However, they cited a lack of knowledge about genomic medicine, uncertain clinical utility, and lack of available learning resources as barriers. The knowledge gained from this study will assist with developing guidelines and policies to guide providers on the return of SFs in sub-Saharan Africa and across the continent. (shrink)