Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Tunji Alausa and Coordinating Minister for Health and Social Welfare

The Nigerian government has inaugurated the National Health Research Committee to regulate medical research in the country.

The Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Tunji Alausa, announced this milestone at the inauguration of the National Health Research Ethics Committee (NHREC), held in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Dr. Alausa said the NHREC, comprised of esteemed individuals from diverse research backgrounds, stands as the apex body responsible for formulating and ensuring adherence to guidelines governing health research.

“The committee’s role is to protect the rights and well-being of research participants, envisioning it as a catalyst for innovation, investment attraction, and collaboration within the medical research sector,” he said.

Reflecting the ethical dimensions of health research, Dr. Alausa stated, “In our pursuit of scientific advancements and medical breakthroughs, we must ensure that the rights, dignity, and well-being of research participants are protected.”

He underlined the commitment to fostering a healthcare system rooted in integrity, transparency, and ethical conduct.

“The establishment of NHREC aligns with the 2014 National Health Act, aiming to enforce standards and protocols for ethical pre-clinical and clinical trials.

“This strategic endeavor seeks to elevate Nigeria’s standing in medical research, positioning the nation as a regional powerhouse in healthcare and scientific breakthroughs,” he added.

The Minister highlighted the committee’s role in upholding ethical standards across various healthcare sectors, including pharmaceutical research, device equipment, and patient care.

“The NHREC’s constitution is crucial for realizing the objectives of the Nigeria Health Sector Renewal Initiative (NHSRI), encompassing a four-point agenda and an overall commitment to healthcare system improvement,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ms. Daju Kachollom, emphasized the importance of the ongoing research in disease control and health system enhancement.

She underscored the NHREC’s commitment to protecting participants in research, viewing the committee’s third instance inauguration as a continuous effort to advance health research with a focus on ethical considerations.

In his acceptance speech, the Chairman of NHREC, Prof. Richard Adebola, pledged the committee’s commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards in medical and health-related research.

Adebola positioned NHREC as a guardian of ethical principles, emphasizing the delicate balance between advancing scientific knowledge and safeguarding research participants’ rights, safety, and well-being.

Adebola called for collaboration, noting his extensive experience across continents and sectors, which positions him well to understand the ethical requirements crucial for government-supported studies.

He emphasized a streamlined process with scientific rigor, pledging collaboration to implement policies effectively.

“The committee’s initial steps, including a comprehensive analysis of the communications plan and focusing on essential elements through concise bullet points,” he said.

The members of the committee include; Chairman – Prof Richard Adegbola (NIMR) Lagos; Dr. Adedeji Adefuye Risk Management & Benefit-Risk & Medical Device Safety, Grayslake; Legal Practitioner -Barr. A.B Malle Asahab Chambers Bauchi; Pharmacist – Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar Iliya Dept Pharmaceutical Services University of Maiduguri; Prof Saleh Garba Ngaski, HOD Dept. of Nursing BUK Bayero University Kano; Rep Christian Faith Dr. Geoffrey Okatubo Former Director, Port Health, FMOH; Rep Muslim Faith -Prof Misbahu Rufai Dept. of Social and Psychological Sciences, Chicago; Community Health Worker- Mrs. Rotimi Ayodele Ag Provost LUTH; Researcher in the Medical Field- Prof. Lawal Ahmadu Kuki Dept. of Community Medicine ABU Zaria;

Researcher in Pharmaceutical Field Prof. Sule M.A Dept. of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, ABU Zaria; Health record Officer- Ibrahim Mohd Mami Health Registration Board of Nigeria; Radiographer- Ahmadu Adamu University of Maiduguri, UMTH; Physiotherapist- Dr. UAC Okafor Ass. Prof of Physical therapy CMUL, Idi-Araba, Lagos; Public Health System Analyst- Dr. Amina Ahmad Shehu Public Health System Analyst.