Director- General, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos, Innocent Ujah, has urged medical and health workers to abide by the ethics of the profession irrespective of circumstances before them.
The DG pointed out that it was only through that they would be able to protect the dignity and fundamental rights of people they are dealing with in the course of their job. The DG stated this in Lagos yesterday while inaugurating the new Institutional Review Board members of the institute last week.
The new board members (21 of them) are drawn from across medicine, law, pharmacy, faith based, and civil society and are expected to serve for a three- year term. They include Friday Okonofua, who will serve as chairman, Olayemi Nwogbe as the Secretary, David Nkiru, Wellington Oyibo, Dr. Catherine Onubogu, O.P. Akinwale, A.S. Yunusazazzau, Barrister Olatunde Daudu and Olayide Akanni of Journalist Against Aid, among others.
Ujah told the new officers that they could not afford to fail due to their previous track records in their chosen fields, which he said informed their appointment for the new assignment. While urging them to approve and facilitate only ethical researches, he also asked them to monitor works of researchers effectively.
Ujah, however, lamented challenges facing medical research reviewers in Africa which he said included inadequate expertise and fund, lack of technical know- how, undue interference from policy makers and poor environment condition, among others.
“All these no doubt will hinder good ethics review in African countries, including Nigeria,” he argued, while assuring the new officers of enjoying independent work and the institute’s necessary support in their operations.
Speaking on behalf of others, the Chairman of the board, Okonufua thanked NIMR’s management for giving them the opportunity to serve and contribute to the development of the country’s health sector, promising a team work and effective service delivery.