Many ethical challenges emerged when the government and policymakers introduced COVID-19 control measures in early 2020. One of them was the closure of all hot spots where sex workers meet clients without consultations or giving them an alternative source of livelihood. Since we are in the era of climate change and emerging infections that have been quarantined in the permafrost for years, this will continue to be a problem.

There’s a need to start getting ready for more infectious diseases pandemics. Fast-reaction systems to respond to emerging infectious medical threats will be needed, but such systems will likely face significant ethics and integrity challenges.

PHDA recently joined a consortium that responded to a call of proposals by the European Union to address this emerging problem. The project name is PREPARED – which stands for ‘Pro-active Pandemic Crisis Ethics and Integrity Framework’.

16 groups who are members of the consortium led by Prof Doris Schroeder hope that the PREPARED project will tackle this emerging challenge by developing a range of tools for the promotion of high levels of ethics and integrity activities during accelerated research at a time of crisis. Hence, the project’s objective is to develop an ethics and integrity framework to support rapid and effective research during global crises with the following outputs: –

(i) An interdisciplinary, accessible, and jargon-free code of conduct for research during global crises

(ii) ‘How to’ guidelines to support the needs of research teams

(iii) Producing engaging training and capacity building materials to fast track global preparedness.

Click here to watch a 2-minute video of the project launch.