Development of Guidelines for the Conduct of HIV Research Monitoring by Ethics Committees in Nigeria

Bridget G. Haire, Morenike Oluwatoyin Folayan, Jennifer Fleming

Abstract

Nigerian research ethics committees are charged with the responsibility to monitor ongoing research to ensure compliance with ethical standards. Recent evidence from qualitative studies on research conduct however, indicate that many research studies fail to implement their protocols as written, and that this is not reported due to a failure of comprehensive monitoring. As Nigeria is in many respects a highly suitable country in which to conduct HIV biomedical prevention research, we argue there is a need to reprioritise the strengthening of the monitoring capacity of ethics committees so that such vital and ethically complex research can be conducted with confidence. We identify the need for (i) improved resourcing and training of ethics committee members, and (ii) comprehensive planning of research monitoring as part of the ethics committee protocol review process. We also highlight the significance of community collaboration and the establishment of a central pool of national monitors, as essential components for reinvigorating monitoring capacity. (Afr J Reprod Health 2014; 18[3]: 66-73)

 

Keywords: Ethics, monitoring, HIV prevention, compliance

 

Résumé 

Les comités nigérians de recherche sur l'éthique  sont chargés de la responsabilité de surveiller les recherches en cours pour assurer la conformité avec les normes éthiques. Des données récentes provenant des études qualitatives sur la conduite de la recherche indiquent cependant que de nombreuses études de recherche ne parviennent pas à mettre en œuvre leurs protocoles écrits, et que ce n'est pas signalées à cause d'une défaillance de la surveillance globale. Alors que le Nigeria est à bien des égards un pays très approprié dans lequel l’on peut  mener des recherches sur la prévention biomédicale du VIH, nous soutenons qu'il est nécessaire de redéfinir les priorités du renforcement de la capacité de surveillance des comités d'éthique de sorte que cette recherche vitale et éthique complexe puisse être effectuée en toute confiance. Nous identifions la nécessité de (i) l'amélioration des ressources et la formation des membres des comités d'éthique, et (ii) la planification globale de suivi de la recherche dans le cadre du processus d'examen du protocole du comité d'éthique. Nous soulignons également l'importance de la collaboration de la communauté et la mise en place d'un pool central de moniteurs nationaux, en tant que composants essentiels pour relancer la capacité de surveillance. (Afr J Reprod Health 2014; 18[3]: 66-73)

 

Mots-clés: éthique, la surveillance, la prévention du VIH, de la conformité

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