Advances in medical technologies have made genomics tests that predict risk of diseases increasingly available for use in clinical settings. With the substantial reduction in cost and its rapid spread around the world, it is inevitable that genomics tests for complex diseases will soon be available everywhere including Africa. As the number of these tests increases, the uses and interpretation of the information they generate will require increased understanding of genomics and how its principles apply to different health problems. Such uses are raising concerns about the ethical issues that may arise when these technologies are used to identify genetic markers of disease risk in otherwise healthy people. The concerns including risk of discrimination by schools, insurers, or employers  are pertinent given that hundreds of genetic markers associated with a variety of complex diseases, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer disease have been identified and some of these are now in clinical use .
Increasing availability of genomics tests for non-communicable diseases (NCD) in Nigeria and other African countries raises the same types of questions as in developed world. However, there may be additional ethical dimensions because of the peculiarities of Africans.
Majority of Africans are poor and have high levels of illiteracy , the level of comprehension of genomics and genomics risk of diseases is therefore uncertain. While the concept of heritability is well known, subtle differences such as those between Mendelian or multi-gene risk of disease may be more difficult.
Africans have specific beliefs about origin of illnesses and health , and this may affect their willingness to do these tests, believe the results and act on the results.
Africans have specific stories of origin, kinship and personhood that may be challenged by the result of genomics tests and the impact of such interventions on sense of identity is unknown at this time.
Africans may not have ready access to interventions that will change the outcomes if they know their genetic risk of certain diseases. This raises questions about the ethical implications of conducting such tests and whether the researchers/test laboratories have an obligation to provide the required interventions.
To this end, we conducted a qualitative study in Nigeria, which is the most populous African countries to assess their attitude to genomics tests for complex diseases, using Focused Group Discussion (FGD) and Key Informant Interviews (KII). Though Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, similar studies need to be conducted in more African countries to get the general view of Africans.