oa South African Journal of Bioethics and Law - Establishing national biobanks in South Africa : the urgent need for an ethico-regulatory framework : from the editor

Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1999-7639



In 2012, the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) set up a biobank in Braamfontein, South Africa, which has a storage capacity of 120 000 samples. Recently, the H3Africa Initiative was launched with the aim of endowing several research projects across Africa, funding a bioinformatics network and establishing five biobanks, two of which are housed in Cape Town and Johannesburg respectively. The expectation is that, in a few years, the three sites in South Africa will evolve into full-scale central biobanks capable of storing over 100 000 samples harvested from African research each year. In addition, the Aids Malignancy Consortium sub-Saharan Africa biobank project has also received funding, and the plan is that this biobank will be located in Cape Town next to H3Africa's biobank.

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