Health research ethics review and needs of institutional ethics committees in Tanzania|
Ikingura, J.K.B.; Kruger, M. & Zeleke, W.
This study was undertaken to describe the performance of health research ethics review procedures of six research centres in Tanzania. Data collection was done through a self-administered questionnaire and personal interviews. The results showed that there were on average 11 members (range= 8-14) in each Research Ethic Committee. However, female representation in the committees was low (15.2%). The largest proportion of the committee members was biomedical scientists (51.5%). Others included medical doctors (19.7%), social scientists (7.6%), laboratory technologists (10.6%), religious leaders (4.5%), statisticians (3.0%), teachers (1.5%) and lawyers (1.5). Committee members had different capacities to carry out review of research proposals (no capacity=2%; limited capacity=15%; moderate capacity=20%; good capacity=48%, excellent capacity=13%). Only half of the respondents had prior ethics review training. Although the majority deemed that ethical guidelines were very important (66%), there were challenges in the use of ethical guidelines which included lack of awareness on the national accreditation mechanisms for ethics committee (59%). Adherence to ethical principles and regulations was influenced by being a scientist (OR= 42.47), being an employee of a professional organization (OR= 15.25), and having an interests in the use of ethical guidelines (OR= 10.85) These findings indicate the need for capacity strengthening (through training and resource support), inclusion of more female representation and other mandatory professions to the research ethics committees.
health research, ethics, review, committee, Tanzania