Research ethics review at University Eduardo Mondlane (UEM)/Maputo Central Hospital, Mozambique (2013-2016): A descriptive analysis of the start-up of a new research ethics committee (REC)

Jahit Sacarlal, Vasco Muchanga, Carlos Mabutana, Matilde Mabui, Arlete Mariamo, Assa Júlio Cuamba, Leida Artur Fumo, Jacinta Silveira, Elizabeth Heitman, Troy D. Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Mozambique has seen remarkable growth in biomedical research over the last decade. To meet a growing need, the National Committee for Bioethics in Health of Mozambique (CNBS) encouraged the development of ethical review processes at institutions that regularly conduct medical and social science research. In 2012, the Faculty of Medicine (FM) of University Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) and the Maputo Central Hospital (MCH) established a joint Institutional Committee on Bioethics for Health (CIBS FM & MCH). This study examines the experience of the first 4 years of the CIBS FM & MCH. Methods: This study provides a descriptive, retrospective analysis of research protocols submitted to and approved by the CIBS FM & MCH between March 1, 2013 and December 31, 2016, together with an analysis of the Committee's respective reviews and actions. Results: A total of 356 protocols were submitted for review during the period under analysis, with 309 protocols approved. Sixty-four percent were submitted by students, faculty, and researchers from UEM, mainly related to Master's degree research (42%). Descriptive cross-sectional studies were the most frequently reviewed research (61%). The majority were prospective (71%) and used quantitative methodologies (51%). The Departments of Internal Medicine at MCH and Community Health at the FM submitted the most protocols from their respective institutions, with 38 and 53% respectively. The CIBS's average time to final approval for all protocols was 56 days, rising to 161 for the 40 protocols that required subsequent national-level review by the CNBS. Conclusions: Our results show that over its first 4 years, the CIBS FM & MCH has been successful in managing a constant demand for protocol review and that several broad quality improvement initiatives, such as investigator mentoring and an electronic protocol submission platform have improved efficiency in the review process and the overall quality of the protocols submitted. Beyond Maputo, long-term investments in training and ethical capacity building for CIBS across the country continue to be needed, as Mozambique develops greater capacity for research and makes progress toward improving the health of all its citizens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number37
JournalBMC Medical Ethics
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 23 2018

Keywords

  • Ethics
  • Low-and middle-income country
  • Mozambique
  • Research ethics committee
  • Research ethics review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy

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