The session began with opening remarks from Prof. Pauline Byakika-Kibwika, the Principle investigator for the Ethics Project at Infectious Diseases Institute. In her remarks, she acknowledged National Institute of Health (NIH) as funders for the Ethics project. She highlighted the goal for the project " To ensure that Research Ethics Committees are equipped with skills and tools to manage their increasing complex workload in an efficient manner that ensures compliance to international ethical standards, whilst providing researchers with timely and high quality responses to this essential part of the research process"
She also acknowledged the strong collaboration the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI)has had with Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST). She noted that IDI is collaborating with UNCST to support the training of RECs in Makerere and Mulago Hospital Complex on the National Research Information Management System.
We had opening remarks from the UNCST delate- Winfred Badanga, who highlighted the need to transition from the paper to electronic submission to regulatory agencies. She said that NRIMS is an online platform that coordinates the efforts of National Regulatory Agencies, particularly the National Drug Authority (NDA), Uganda National Health Research Organization (UNHRO), the UNCST and Research Ethics Committees, in the regulatory oversight of research in the country. She acknowledged that NRIMS was developed through the Consortium for Clinical Research Regulation and Ethics Capacity Development in Uganda (CREDU) Project, that is funded by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnerships (EDCTP).She mentioned that NRIMS is ready for use by the investigators and all the regulatory agencies and thanked IDI for supporting training at Makerere and Mulago. She concluded while calling upon the REC members to be ambassadors and encourage investigators to use the system.
We had the sessions on the system facilitated by Mr. Mwesigwa Collins, the IT officer at UNCST along side Mrs. Winfred Badanga.
The REC members were navigated through the investigator, REC administrator and REC reviewer dash board.
Mr. Mwesigwa Collins highlighted that there are user guided for all the process and an audio-visual is also being made to aid users to navigate through the system at their convenience.
We had a practical session where members did a test review and the challenges that arose during the process were resolved. Members were pre-enrolled to the system and more were enrolled during the session.
REC members acknowledged that they are able to navigate through the system on their own and would prefer to do their next review using the system on evaluation.
We call upon researchers to submit their application to Makerere University School of Health Sciences REC online.