The National Health Research Ethics Committee shall:
- Determine guidelines for the functioning of health research ethics committees;
- Register and audit health research ethics committees;
- Set norms and standards for conducting research on humans and animals, including norms and standards for conducting clinical trials;
- Adjudicate in complaints about the functioning of health research ethics committees and hear any complaint by a researcher who believes that he has been discriminated against by a health research ethics committee;
- Refer to the relevant statutory health professional council matters involving the violation or potential violation of an ethical or professional rule by a health care provider;
- Institute such disciplinary action as may be prescribed against any person found to be in violation of any norms and standards, or guidelines, set for the conduct of research under this Act; and
- Advise the Federal Ministry of Health and State Ministries on any ethical issues concerning research.
Establishment and Functions of Health Research Ethics Committees
- Every institution, health agency and health establishment at which health research is conducted, shall establish or have access to a health research ethics committee, which is registered with the National Health Research Ethics Committee.
A health research ethics committee shall:-
Review research proposals and protocols in order to ensure that research conducted by the relevant
institution, agency or establishment will promote health, contribute to the prevention of
communicable or non-communicable diseases or disability or result in cures for communicable or non-communicable diseases; and
- Grant approval for research by the relevant institution, agency or establishment in instances where
research proposals and protocol meet the ethical standards of that health research ethics
There is hereby established the National Health Research Ethics Committee.TheNational Health Research Ethics Committee consists of not more than 15 persons including:
- the chairman
- a medical doctor
- a legal practitioner;
- a pharmacist;
- a nurse;
- at least two religious leaders;
- a Community Health Worker;
- one researcher in the medical field;
- one researcher in the pharmaceutical field;
- three other persons of unquestionable integrity.
A member of the National Health Research Ethics Committee shall be appointed for a term of three years in the first instance and may be reappointed for another term of 3 years and no more under such terms and conditions as may be specified.
A member of the National Health Research Ethics Committee shall vacate his office if he resigns or is requested in the public interest by the Minister to resign.
If a member of the National Health Research Ethics Committee vacates office or dies, the Minister may fill the vacancy by appointing a person in accordance with subsection (2) for the unexpired portion of the term of office of his predecessor.
According to the provisions of the draft National Health Bill, every institution, health agency and health establishment at which Establishment health research is conducted, shall establish or have access to a health research ethics committee, which is registered with the National Health Research Ethics Committee.