Promoting Highest Ethical and Scientific
Standards for Health Research in Nigeria

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2008 Certificate in Health Research Ethics Training Course

The next certificate in health research ethics training course will start on 2nd of October and last till 30th of Nov 2008. It will take place at Center for Bioethics, Ibadan. Course fee is N50,000 and there are limited number of scholarships available from West African Bioethics Training Program. For more information contact Ms. Yemisi Ajibose(


NHREC Quartery Meeting

The National Health Research Ethics Committee held her quarterly meeting on August 1, 2007 at Ministerial Conference Room, Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Secretariat, Abuja.

The National Health Research Ethics Committee held her  quarterly meeting on December 14th to the 16th, 2006 at Gracious Hotels International, Abuja.

The Federal Ministry of Health of Nigeria and National Heath Research Ethics Committee of Nigeria held a workshop on the new Nigerian National Code for Health Research Ethics on the 14th and 15th of December 2006 at the Gracious Hotel, Abuja, The program was attended by members of health research ethics committees from several teaching hospitals and research institutes in Nigeria. Attendees went through the new national code systematically and made suggestions about how to implement it for the benefit of Nigerians. Guest lectures were given by Professor Patricia Marshall, Professor of Anthropology and Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio and Professor Charles Rotimi, Director of the National Human Genome Center. At the conclusion of the program, participant

s formed a society of health research ethics of Nigeria.



Download The Lectures Delivered at the Workshop

            Ethical challenges in international research

Patricia Marshall, Ph.D.

Department of Bioethics

School of Medicine

Case Western Reserve University

            Ethics of Complex Diseases Research in Low-Resource Environment

            Example – MTA ( Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)

Charles N. Rotimi, PhD

Professor and Director

National Human Genome Center

Health records and reports

Adebayo O. Adejumo


Member NHREC   

            Functions and Operations of Health Research Ethics Committee

Professor Clement A. Adebamowo


Chairman, National Health Research Ethics Committee Program

Director, West African Bioethics Training Program

            Composition and Functions of the National Health Research Ethics Committee

Dr. (Mrs). M.A. Mafe
Focal Person – Research, Department of Health Planning & Research

            Registration, Composition and Functions of Health Research Ethics Committees

Adebayo O. Adejumo


            The Role of the Federal Ministry of Health in Promotion of Research in Nigeria


Dr. (Mrs). M.A. Mafe
Focal Person – Research, Department of Health Planning & Research

Federal Ministry of Health





News Links

  • Honourable Minister of Health, Prof Eyitayo Lambo Speech
  • Dr J.Y Jiya  Speech
  • Newly released National Code for Health Research Ethics in Nigeria
  • Photo Gallery





I am delighted with your presence at this very important inaugural meeting of the National Health Research Ethics Committee (NHREC).


2.         In our continued efforts to reposition the health sector into one that is responsive to the needs of our citizens, we had embarked on a fundamental and far reaching health sector reform programme, to deliver effective, efficient, qualitative and accessible healthcare services.


3.         Research has been identified as one of the key components of the process towards achieving the goals of the reform agenda. Research has and will continue to play a significant role in the development of new technologies for the control of diseases, and contribute to the advances in medicine. It is only of recent that Nigeria and other developing countries began taking steps to ensure that they also harness the opportunities that research offers for the control of endemic diseases in the environment and for development.


4.         Recent efforts to strengthen Health Research in the Ministry include the Technical Panel Meeting on Essential National Health Research, the High Level Meeting on Health Research for Development and Disease Control, and the Presidential Retreat on Improving Life Expectancy in Nigeria. These fora decried the lack of and appropriate use of health research to generate new knowledge for disease control and informed and evidence for policy making.


5.         However, while making efforts for development related researches, there is need for us to ensure that the people are not used merely as guinea pigs for testing new drugs and technologies. The way to achieve this is by putting in place a strong National Framework that would ensure that the rights of our people who will be involved in researches are duly protected. People who became research subjects do so by their own free will, and research must hold some promise of benefit; in the immediate, short-term and long-term, directly or indirectly, to the society, and should pose minimal hazard to the health of the research participants.


6.         The National Health Research Ethics Committee was thus established to provide this much needed National Framework. Although the committee has been in place since the early eighties, its activities were hampered due to lack of funds and support. This  led to loss of interest by its members. It is therefore under the reform agenda that we re-constituted the committee in September, 2005. However following several technical meetings with the team from the West African Bioethics Training Programme which is aimed at ensuring that the structure we were about to establish was sound and of an international standard, we noticed some inadequacies of the committee. Because our responsibility in establishing a system that can stand the test of time, we therefore set out to correct the observed inadequacies.


7.         The restructuring process includes: reconstituting the membership of the committee to be in line with existing policy guidelines, identification of all relevant stakeholders and developing a working strategy to ensure productive collaboration amongst all the stakeholders. We have also set in motion a small working group to develop the operational guideline for research ethics in Nigeria.


8.         The roles and responsibilities of the committee are clearly spelt out in the Draft National Health Bill, which is in its advanced stage of being enacted into Law by the National Assembly and other Policy documents.


9.         The National Health Research Ethics Committee is charged with:


  • Development of ethical guidelines for all health research activities
  • Proposing an implementation mechanism for the guidelines
  • Ensuring respect and protection of human rights, confidentiality and principle of compensation for research participants
  • Provision of operational guidelines for the registration, accreditation and regulation of institutional health review committees of tertiary and other institutions undertaking health related researches
  • Ensuring that researches are well coordinated so as to streamline research activities thereby avoiding duplication of efforts and waste of resources


10.        The members of the committee that will be inaugurated today were carefully selected in recognition of their backgrounds and experience in research ethics and related issues, and in line with existing policy guidelines.  The membership is as follwos:



  1. Professor Clement Adebamowo (Male)                          –          Chairman


  1. Professor Rich Umeh (Female)

Representing medical profession,                                  –           Member

  1. Mrs. Uju Hassan Baba, Director, (Female)

Representing Legal Profession                                      –           Member


  1. Dr. U Inyang(Male)

Director General NIPRD                                                 –          Member


  1. Dr. Adebayo Adejumo (Male)

Representing Nurses                                                     –           Member


  1. One representative of the Supreme Council

For Islamic Affairs Islamic                                              –           Member


  1. One representative of Christian Association

of Nigeria                                                                      –           Member


  1. Dr Oni idigbe    (Male)

Director General (NIMR)                                                 –           Member


  1. Bashir Umar

Rep. Comm Health Practitioners of Nigeria                     –           Member


  1. Pharm. Ahmed T Mora

Rep of Pharmacist Council of Nigeria                             –           Member


  1. Prof. S. Ogamdi (Male)

Representative of FMS&T                                              –           Member


12.   Dr. Yahya Hashim,

Representing CSOs                                                       –           Member


13.   Dr. Shehu Sule mni Director, Department of Community

Development and Population Activities (FMOH)              –           Member


14.   Dr. Jonathan Y. Jiya mni Director, Department of Health Planning

and Research (FMOH)                                                   –          Member


15.   Dr N. Njepuoeme

      Director, Department of Public Health                            –           Member

16.   Dr M. Mafe                                                                 –           Secretary



Representatives of Federal Ministries of Education, Environment, NAFDAC, and Nigerian Universities Commission


Aminu Yakubu administrator in charge and ex-officio member


11.        Distinguished committee members, I wish to stress here that this time it must be business unusual. I therefore call on all of you to work hard towards ensuring that this committee lives up to expectation by ensuring that they build and sustain a system for research ethics in Nigeria.


12.        Ladies and Gentlemen, I congratulate you on your nomination and selection as members of this important committee. It is my hope and conviction that as distinguished and accomplished individuals in your various fields of endeavour, you will work selflessly and with utmost commitment to ensure that this committee achieves the goal for which it is set up.


13.        I expect nothing but the best from you all, so I will wish you success in carrying out your responsibilities.


14.        Thank you for your kind attention



Welcome Address by the Director, Department of Health Planning

and Research, Dr J. Y. Jiya mni, during the Inaugural Meeting of the

National Health Research Ethics Committee, at the Conference Hall of the

Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, on October 5 2006




Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to welcome you all to the inaugural meeting of this important committee.


As you may know, this administration is committed to strengthening the health system to ensure improved provision of affordable and quality healthcare services to the Nigerian people. The health sector reform programme provides the framework to achieve this important mission. Research was identified as am important factor towards achieving the goals of not only the reform programme but also the MDGs.


Through several fora including the Technical Panel Meeting on Essential National Health Research, and the High Level Meeting on Health Research held in February and July respectively, several recommendations on how to position research towards strengthening health systems and disease control were proffered. Key among these recommendations was the need to strengthen the National Mechanism for the protection of human research subjects in Nigeria. The importance of this mechanism is to ensure that while strengthening and attracting more research into the country, there are structures that would safeguard the rights of participants and researchers. This would ensure that research participants are not merely used but are treated with respect as they contribute to the greater social good.


Consequently it became necessary to strengthen the National Health Research Ethics Committee, which has the responsibility of providing the needed guidelines. This effort received greater impetus during the Presidential Retreat on improving Life Expectancy when Mr. President directed for the strengthening of this committee.


The work of the National Health Research Ethics Committee should thus be seen as that of a protector of the people from harmful aspects of research, while ensuring that its benefits are maximised as is humanly practicable.


It is our strong belief that this committee as constituted is capable and will bring about the much needed collaboration of the various stakeholders in order to achieve the common goal of safeguarding our people as they participate in researches.


By answering this call you are rendering invaluable service to the Nigerian people, and humanity in general, and it is an endeavour you should be proud of.


I welcome you all once again to this important call to serve.


Thank you.

Dr. J. Y. Jiya mni

Director, Department of Health Planning and Research


National Code for Health Research Ethics in Nigeria

The National Health Research Ethics Committee hereby releases a draft National Code for Health Research Ethics in Nigeria.

The NHREC invites comments, suggestions and criticisms of this draft from the entire community of researchers, bioethicists and interested parties. All comments should be sent to

After compilation and consideration of the feedback, the NHREC will consider appropriate changes and include these in the code. The final version of the code will then be released in December 2006 after the NHREC’s scheduled meeting.
Please note that sub-codes are being compiled for situations where research participants have diminished or impaired autonomy and other special circumstances. In addition a fairly detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is being developed for the country for use by all HRECs so that each HREC does not need to develop its own SOP afresh.