Members of the Makerere University College of Health Sciences School of Health Sciences Institutional Review Committee (IRC) have undergone a two-day Human Subjects Protection Course. The course which is mandatory for such committees to operate was organised by the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST).
Speaking at the closing ceremony, the Assistant Executive Secretary of the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, Mr. Julius Ecuru, noted that the council is confident that it has a competent review committee in place, which is critically placed to serve most of Makerere University units. The School of Health Sciences IRC is housed at the Department of Pharmacy building next to University Police and it is the first such committee on University Main Campus.
Mr. Ecuru further pointed out that the UNCST is working to decentralize its operations, and is building the capacity of IRCs so that some of the work is done at that level.
Closing the training, the Dean School of Health Sciences, Dr. Isaac Okullo noted that the course was a key landmark in a journey that started a year ago when the IRC was inaugurated.
He said that the full participation of the majority of members of the IRC in the training is testimony to their commitment to execute their duties and that they will be good trainers for their colleagues who did not make it for the training.
Dr. Okullo noted that the wish is that this develops into the best IRC in the whole of the College of Health Sciences, but hastened to add that this calls for hard work, commitment and a passion for ethical research.
The training was facilitated by Dr. Frederick Nelson Nakwagala, Mr. Julius Ecuru, Mr. Paul Kutyabami (who is also the IRC Chair) and Mr. Christopher Oleke (Ministry of Health), and funded by the UNCST. Activities of the IRC are currently funded by a grant from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP).
Certificates were awarded to participants who attended the training.
Report filed by Ms. Milly Nattimba