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Health research ethics c’ttees: Regulatory body scores Nigeria low

The Chairman of the National Health Research Ethics Committee of Nigeria (NHREC), Prof. Zubairu Iliyasu said 49 Health Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) have so far been registered in Nigeria.

He said this is a far cry from what is expected.

Prof. Iliyasu said this while speaking to journalists in Benin on the state of research ethics in Nigeria.

According to him, it is expected that all teaching hospitals, federal medical centres, research institutes, universities and State Ministries of Health have HRECs with current registration with NHREC.

He said while many institutions have HRECs, they are not regular in renewing their registration.

NHREC has sensitized all the state governments and health institutions in public and private sector on the necessity to adhere to internationally accepted highest standards of ethical conduct of research in humans and animals.

The committee has produced guidelines and a national health research code.

“We have also developed policies on Biobanks, Animal research and have earned international recognition for NHREC approvals by adhering to high standards.

NHREC is also listed in the international directory of Bioethics committees and has a functional website (www.nhrec.net)”, he added.

Speaking on deepening research ethics in Nigeria (DREIN) project, the Director of Centre for Bioethics and Research (CBR), Ibadan, Professor Clement Adebamowo said the project aimed at improving the capacity of Research Ethics Committee in Nigeria in order to implement standardized

and efficient review of research and clinical trials protocols through increasing utilization of electronic ethics review platform – RHInnO Ethics which was developed by Council of Health Research Ethics Development (COHRED) and “is being implemented by ethics committees in Africa”.

He said the DREIN project was linked to the Federal Ministry of Health through the National Health Research Ethics Committee of Nigeria (NHREC) which is a subsidiary of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Also speaking, the Manager of Centre for Bioethics and Research, Mr. Olusegun Adeyemo said in order to meet the training need, the Centre for Bioethics and Research conducts training on Modern Research Ethics for Ethics Committee members all over Nigeria,

these trainings according to him, are approved by the National Health Research Ethics Committee of Nigeria as part of accreditation for existing ethics committees and newly formed ethics committees.

“The Centre for Bioethics and Research also provides post graduate training in Bioethics at the University of Ibadan, upon successful completion of the training candidates receive a Master of science degree in Bioethics.

We also run 2 months online blended diploma training for interested persons, upon successful completion participants receive a diploma certificate”, he added.

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