By Adeniyi Adeyemo, V-RAMP Program Manager at AKTH
With aims to improve skills in Institutional Review Committees' ethical considerations of research proposals, increase existing knowledge of ethical regulatory practices, and build capacity on national and international best practices of research ethics in Nigeria, the Vanderbilt-Nigeria Research Administration and Management Training Program (V-RAMP) organized a Research Administration Ethics Workshop at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) in February 2022. The workshop was a fruitful collaboration between the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH), the Bayero University Kano Health Research Ethics Committee (BUK HREC), and the National Health Research Ethics Committee of Nigeria (NHREC). The 54 workshop participants included members of the research ethics committees from Kano and Jigawa States Ministries of Health, Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital Maiduguri, and researchers and research administrators from within and outside the university community. Participants were welcomed by Mr. Adeniyi Adeyemo, Nigeria V-RAMP Program Manager. BUK HREC Chairman, Professor Aliyu Abdu, explained the ground rules for the workshop and introduced faculty and scholars from Nigeria and Nashville, who impacted participants with their experience and expertise.
VIGH and Nigerian scholars, including Professor Muktar Aliyu, Professor C. William ("Bill") Wester, Ms. Wendy Lloyd, Professor Sani Aji, Professor M.M. Borodo, and Professor Aminu Zakari Muhammad, were joined by Mr. Ado Danladi from the Federal Ministry of Health, and Professor Kolawole Oyedeji from the University of Lagos, to conduct the workshop. The workshop incorporated various aspects of research ethics, including Principles of Research Ethics, Informed Consent, Ethics of International Research, Consent Best Practices, Fate of Valuable Data Obtained Through Unethical Means, Role of Community Advisory Boards, and Principles of Community Engagement in Research. Practical sessions and breakout classes made the program highly interactive, practical, participatory and stimulating to participants.
Opening ceremony attendees included Professor Sagir Abbas, BUK Vice Chancellor, Professor Ibrahim Rufai, Directorate for Research Innovation and Partnership, Professor Zubairu Iliyasu, NHREC Chairman, and Professor Ibrahim Yakasai, Provost of the College of Health Sciences, and Mr. M.D. Nasiru, College Secretary, and other principal officers of the College.
The Nigerian scholars highlighted the workshop's significance and appreciated the opportunity to learn from the vast knowledge and experience of the workshop faculty.
A Research Ethics Webinar, moderated from the United States and Nigeria, is being planned for Summer 2022 and will be open to AKTH faculty, Institutional Review Board and Community Advisory Board members, and Office of Research Administration staff. A Vanderbilt Research Ethics/IRB Practicum is in the planning stages for Fall 2022 for trainees to observe and shadow senior Vanderbilt IRB staff members in Nashville.
This work is supported by the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number G11TW011819.