The Dodowa Health Research Centre’s Institutional Review Board(IRB)was established with funding from the
European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP). This was due to the need to
establish and strengthen the activities of the Institutional Review Board in the Dodowa Health Research
Centre and to protect the interest of community members in the Shai-Osudoku and Ningo – Prampram
districts of the Greater Accra Region. Prior to establishment in June 2011, researchers, residents and
interns submitted their proposals to an adhoc committee within the research centre for comments and
suggestions based on their experience. Also, external Researchers had conducted studieswithin the
jurisdiction of the centre without approval from recognised Institutional Review Boards. Using the
centre’s name, these researchers mostly undertook research using inappropriate methods to collect data.
Since the operation of the board;
• Attention has been drawn to the fact that research/studies done in the districts should have
ethical clearance before starting and progressing further. The District Health Administration and the
Local government authority have been briefed formally about the IRB and staff of these two institutions
refer all prospective researchers to the IRB secretariat to seek ethical approval prior to the
commencement of their studies.
• The board has also served as a platform to educate some members who initially had little
knowledge about research and more importantly reviewing a research protocol.
• It has also enabled the research centre to have equal status with the two other research
centres under the GHS already established IRBs.
• There has been improvement in the quality of proposals submitted from Dodowa to the National
Ethical Review committee as well as serving as a means of validation for researchers who come into the
district to conduct research in an ethical manner.
The board currently comprises of individuals with diverse backgrounds including the media, academics,
researchers, development officers, medical practitioners, social welfare representatives, traditional
leaders, lawyers and religious leaders.
Currently, the board meets every other month and whenever there is the need, an expedited review is
carried out. Since the IRB’s operation, it has reviewed a total number of sixty(60) proposals ranging
from Social sciences, Clinical trials and Biomedical studies.