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February 26, 2024
You are currently viewing FG drives bid to lead West Africa in medical research – Alausa

FG drives bid to lead West Africa in medical research – Alausa

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By Abujah Racheal

The Federal Government says it has taken the lead in spearheading an ambitious initiative to position the country as a premier hub for medical research in West Africa.

Dr Tunji Alausa, the Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, said this on Tuesday in Abuja, at the inauguration of the Nation Health Research Ethics Committee (NHREC).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NHREC is made up of highly cerebral and endowed personalities of different research backgrounds and disciplines.

NHREC is the apex body that is responsible for the provision and ensuring adherence to the guidelines governing health research to ensure the protection of research participants in the country.

The minister said it was with a vision to drive innovation, attract investment and foster collaboration.

He said that the ethical dimensions of health research could not be overstated.

“In our pursuit of scientific advancements and medical breakthroughs, we must ensure that the rights, dignity, and well-being of research participants are protected.

“The establishment of the NHREC reflects our unwavering dedication to fostering a healthcare system that is rooted in integrity, transparency, and ethical conduct,” he said.

He said that this was in line with the 2014 National Health Act, noting that NHREC aimed to enforce standards and protocols for conducting ethical pre-clinical and clinical trials in the country.

He said the strategic endeavour sought to elevate the country’s standing in the field of medical research, propelling the nation to become a regional powerhouse in advancing healthcare and scientific breakthroughs.

He said that the responsibility of the committee was in line with the four-point agenda and the overall objective of the Nigeria Health Sector Renewal Initiative (NHSRI).

He said that the constitution of the NHREC was crucial for upholding ethical standards across various sectors of the healthcare system, including pharmaceutical research, device equipment and patient care.

He said the inauguration of the committee signified a continuing and unwavering dedication to achieving a delicate balance between acknowledging a practice and promoting/protecting the rights and well-being of the staff participants.

“This underscores our commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards in health research, as enumerated by the Society for Health,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Ms. Kachollom Daju, underscored the importance of ongoing research in the country, covering various aspects from disease control to health system enhancement.

Daju highlighted the commitment to protecting participants in research through the strengthening of the NHREC.

She said the inauguration of the third instance of the committee reflected a continuous effort to advance health research with a focus on ethical considerations.

Prof. Richard Adebola, Chairman, NHREC, said the committee was committed to upholding the highest ethical standards in medical and health-related research in the country.

Adebola said that NHREC was positioned as a guardian of ethical principles, underscoring the delicate balance between advancing scientific knowledge and safeguarding the rights, safety, and well-being of research participants in the context of limited resources.

He said his extensive experience across continents and diverse sectors positioned him well to understand the ethical requirements and scientific standards crucial for government-supported studies.

He called for collaboration with the recently inaugurated committee and noted that working in synergy aligned with intending to ensure a streamlined process with scientific rigour before reaching the ethics committee.

“We will collaborate with you to simplify the issue, enabling us to implement the policy effectively.

“Our initial step involves conducting a firsthand analysis of the extensive communications plan.

“We aim to distil the essential elements into concise bullet points. Our focus will be on identifying required examples from each of the three groups,” he said.

All members of NHREC are appointed in line with the National Health Act of 2014 which lists the criteria, roles and responsibilities of the committee.

In addition, it is stated in their letters of appointment and attached terms of reference.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Idris Abdulrahman

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