Journal of Regenerative MedicineISSN: 2325-9620

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Stem Cell Research in Africa: Legislation and Challenges

The emergence of stem cell research has undoubtedly brought a lot of hope to the medical field with the opportunities that regenerative medicine offers. Human embryonic stem cells can be manipulated to cure some of the most debilitating diseases of our times. The ability to transform somatic cells into pluripotent stem cells will ease the objections by some people towards the use of embryo derived stem cells. However, due to global differences of opinion on stem cell research, it is almost impossible to come up with standardised rules that will govern the research around the world. While there is rapid and continues progress in the field of stem cell research, Africa is lagging behind with respect to actively being involved in stem cell research, despite the fact that it stands to benefit greatly from the research. There are very few African countries that are actively involved in stem cell research. This review article examines the involvement of African countries in stem cell research. Some of the challenges that are affecting the progress of stem cell research in Africa are discussed. Because human embryonic stem cells are derived from human embryos, there are legislative frameworks that concern the rights of unborn embryos to life which have to be considered before undertaking research involving human derived embryos. This review discusses recommendations that can vigorously promote and expand stem cell research in Africa, especially in smaller and less scientifically active countries of the continent. In order to succeed in promoting stem cell research in Africa, there is a need to understand the ethical and moral issues that hinders the research. There is further need to enforce basic understanding of what stem cells are and how they function. Therefore, the general consensus is that to succeed in growing stem cell research in Africa, there is a need to first enhance education about stem cells among the ordinary people of the continent

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