Knowledge about the research and ethics committee at Makerere University, Kampala
Ibingira, B. R.
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Background: All research involving human participants should be reviewed by a competent and independent institutional research and ethics committee. Research conducted at Makerere University College of Health Sciences should be subjected to a rigorous review process by the ethics committee in order to protect human participants’ interests, rights and welfare. Objective: To evaluate researchers’ knowledge about the functions and ethical review process of the College of Health Sciences research and ethics committee. Methods: A cross sectional study. 135 researchers consented to participate in the study, but 70 questionnaires were answered giving a 52% response. Results: Age ranged between 30 to 61 years, majority of participants 30-39 years. Most of the respondents do agree that the REC functions include Protocol review 86%, protection of research participants 84.3%, and monitoring of ongoing research. During ethical review, the RECpays special attention to scientific design [79.7%] and ethical issues [75.3%], but less to the budget and literature review. More than 97% of the respondents believe that the REC is either average or very good, while 2.8% rank it below average. Conclusion: Respondents knew the major functions of the committee including protection of the rights and welfare of research participants, protocol review and monitoring of on going research, and the elements of protocol review that are given more attention include ;scientific design and ethical issues. Overall performance of the REC was ranked as average by respondents. The committee should limit delays in approval and effectively handle all functions of the committee.