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Experts call for adequate monitoring of health researches
Five years after the Federal Government instituted the National Guidelines of Ethics on Health Research, experts have called for adequate monitoring of all approved health researches to ensure they confirm to laid down procedures.
Dr Atinuke Agunloye, a consultant radiologist and Nigerian co-investigator on Community of Practice in Ecohealth for West and Central Africa, stated that evidence on the field indicated there was dearth of information on the National Code of Health Research Ethics, especially in the community.
Dr Agunloye, who stated that the National Code of Health Research Ethics was a guideline for researchers in the country, said although many researchers are aware of this code, they do not strictly follow this code that should ensure no patient or volunteer in any study is exploited.
The don, stating that patients and volunteers were sometime not told the risks associated with the research, declared that many researches lack monitoring by the organisations that approved such studies.
Although funding of ethics committees and staffing were challenges to monitoring of health researches in the country, she stated that the society could only progress through research and so individuals should not dissuade from participating in research or take all researchers as either bad or exploitative.
Dr Agunloye stated, however, that participants in health researches should know their rights, know that participation in any study should be voluntary and that if they decided not to participate, it should not affect their access to treatment.
Dean Faculty of Public Health, Professor Ademola Ajuwon, emphasising that there are rules, norms, regulations that guide the conduct of research, stated that ethics of research were developed in response to some abuses of research participants or lapses that occurred in the past.
Professor Ajuwon, who cited examples of abuse of research participants to include the Tuskegee Syphilis study in 1930s in the USA, the Pfizer Drug Trials in Kano and others, such as health workers compelling patients to pay for services not directly related to care, said based on lessons learnt from the Pfizer Kano drug trial, researchers could not be trusted with safety of research participants and that no matter how long ago abuse had occurred, its consequences could be serious when it became known.
Professor Ajuwon stated that the code of ethics of health research was to ensure that all researches have social or scientific value, scientific validity, fair selection of research participants, minimise risks and maximise benefits as well as have respect for potential and enrolled participants.Share