Ifakara Health Institute Institutional Review Board (IHI-IRB) is an independent Ethical Review Board which operates under the umbrella of Ifakara Health Institute. It has been in operation since 2004. Given the importance of ethics for the conduct of research and especially clinical trial studies at IHI, a major reorganization of the IRB was done in 2006. This included appointment of IRB members meeting international ethical requirements and training of new IRB members with a technical support from AMANET. The team meets regularly in the Dar es Salaam Office and also conducts site visits to projects. The team reports directly to IHI Chief Executive Director, who also appoints the members. The IHI-IRB committee has 16 active members from diverse background including social scientist, pediatricians, ethicist, religious representative, nurse , clinical trialist, biostatistician, medical entomoogist and a lawyer.
Mission and roles of IHI-IRB: The mission of IHI- IRB is to contribute to the mission of the Institution through conducting high ethical standard research and other activities through an excellent execution of ethical and relevant work in relation to accepted high ethical standards of biomedical research that involves human subjects. The key roles of the IRB as stipulated in its standard operating procedures include:
- To safeguard the dignity, rights, safety, and well-being of all actual or potential research participants
- To defend the principle of justice
- To provide independent, competent and timely review of ethics of proposed studies
- Responsible for acting in the full interest of actual or potential research participants and concerned communities, taking into account the interests and needs of researchers, and having due regard for the requirements of relevant regulatory agencies and applicable laws
- To provide ethical oversight of approved projects
- To ensure that only qualified investigators are allowed to conduct proposed studies
International Standards: Remarkable progress has been made by the IRB to ensure that ethical and scientific issues are in line with local, national and International ethical standards, through careful implementation of its Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs), which were developed under the National Guidelines of Ethics for Health Research and some principles adopted from renowned international guidelines. The IHI-IRB has been also registered for Federal Wide Assurance, giving us an international recognition but also requiring us to maintain extremely high standards of health research ethics .
More information and access various resources and IRB services can be found under: IHI Research Ethics