Abstract: Heightened global commitment to research on diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria has led to increased research over the past decade in many African countries, including Nigeria. This increase in research has led to debates about the ethics of health research in resource-poor or developing countries and has drawn further attention to existing ethical review processes. This study was undertaken to describe and benchmark the operational and organizational structures as well as functions of research ethics committees (RECs) in Nigeria. The article explores the factors that contribute to REC conformity with the Nigerian National Ethics Code and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for RECs. Data were collected using a self-administered, semistructured questionnaire. A descriptive analysis was conducted, and Fisher’s exact tests performed to assess associations between selected REC characteristics and the degree of conformity to applicable national and international requirements. Eighty percent of RECs (20 out of 25) had standard operating procedures, while 68% (17 out of 25) met at least quarterly and provided final review determinations within three months. RECs with committee chairs who had prior bioethics training were more likely to have operations conforming to the WHO and the Nigerian ethics guidelines. Overall, this study suggests that there is variability in the degree to which operations and functions of RECs in Nigeria conform to the Nigerian National Code and WHO guidelines.

 

Research Ethics Committees in Nigeria: A Survey of Operations, Functions, and Needs,. Aminu A. Yakubu, Adnan A. Hyder, Joseph Ali, and Nancy Kass. IRB: Ethics & Human Research. 2017. May-June 2017 Volume: 39, Issue: 3

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