The Center for Bioethics and Research Nigeria organised the final weekend retreat for the second set of  admitted applicants on the blended diploma program in research ethics. The weekend retreat was from the 6th – 8th December 2019 at Davies Hotel, Ibadan. The participants of the diploma program were Professionals of diverse disciplines from all over the country and they all arrived safely in Ibadan for the Weekend Retreat.

The Weekend Retreat

The retreat began with the usual review of lectures and the participants were eager to interact with each other and the facilitators about the topics that were covered during the second month of the program. The facilitators encouraged interaction among the participants and themselves which allowed for easy bonding and exchange of knowledge and ideas.

Dr . A. O. Adejumo facilitated the review of lectures on benefits, inducement and compensation, conflicts of interest and its management.

Dr. Adejumo facilitating the review of lectures at the Weekend Retreat.

In summary, he explained that benefits are the kind of incentive a participant or society will gain for participating in a research, benefits are also possible gains but if it becomes too large it may compromise the autonomy of the research participant(s). He mentioned that in research, compensation may also be available as a benefit for participating. In exchange for benefits participants accept some risks, acceptability of the risks reflects the participant’s goals and values. He added that inducements are pervasive in life it can be given to encourage research participation, it may also be in cash or kind but it is mostly in cash. He said that there can be due and undue inducement it is the duty of the ethics committee to regulate and apportion this in the protocol.

Compensation in research was also reviewed during the review of lectures. Dr. Adejumo mentioned that participants involved in research may suffer injuries because of Research procedures such as  a medication or device being tested or failure of the investigator to perform research associated procedure properly. He said occurrence of serious injury is rare in clinical trials/research and compensations are injury related at most times. He mentioned the importance of an ethics committee to adhere to ethical standards, scientific integrity, principles and moral standards during reviews.

Dr. Adejumo stated that Conflicts of interest and its management exists where an individual may preference or be perceived to preference their own interests or obligations over their duties and responsibilities as a researcher. Having conflicts of interest, may be unavoidable in research and clinical situations but it is necessary for individuals and institutions to put in place regulations and steps to prevent, identify and manage the conflicts in research and clinical relationships.

Day 2 of the weekend retreat continued with review of lectures by the facilitators. The participants asked questions, made comments and suggestions during the review of lectures. The facilitators taught and led discussions at the retreat while reviewing the lectures, topics such as submitting protocols for ethics review, comprehension competence and risk, religion culture and research ethics in Nigeria, vulnerability and special participant population were reviewed.

The participants also watched a mock IRB Video on : Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research by Jerry Menikoff, M.D.

There was a Mock IRB Session for participants at the Weekend Retreat. Cases were selected from the Casebook on Ethical Issues in International Health Research. The participants were divided into 2 groups to review the selected cases and make a presentation at the end of the review. One of the groups reviewed the case titled “Documenting the health conditions of an indigenous community. While the other group reviewed “Pneumonia vaccine trial’’. The experience gave the participants a closer connection to the facilitators and each other that they interact with online each weekend during the chat session.

There was a guest lecture titled ‘‘Law and Bioethics as tools for human rights protection in Nigeria’’ by Dr. Mrs.  Jadesola Lokulo – Sodipe from the faculty of law, University of Ibadan. Dr. Mrs. Lokulo – Sodipe is an alumnus of the diploma program in research ethics and the MSc bioethics degree program.

 Dr. Mrs. Lokulo Sodipe said Bioethics is all out or centred on human rights, thus the need to protect human rights is the foundation of bioethics principle.

Dr. Mrs Lokulo Sodipe delivering her lecture at the retreat

She elaborated that bioethics led to the development of the legal rules that have become an integral part of life.  Bioethics and human rights respond to the same social and historical forces and event, so human rights are fundamental and its basis is in the right to dignity.

Dr. Mrs Lokulo – Sodipe explained the relationship between law and bioethics as, law provides a means for resolving disputes in bioethics, law brings to bioethical cases an attention to rights and procedure while Bioethics enriches legal analysis with life-and-death dramas. She said the application of law to bioethical breaches has resulted in landmark judicial decisions and the adoption of new statutory and administrative laws such as Nuremburg Trial and the resultant Code. Dr Mrs. Lokulo – Sodipe informed the participants that Bioethics led to the development of the legal rules that have become an integral part of the research enterprise.

In conclusion, She said human rights are fundamental and its basis is in the right to dignity, being rights they create corresponding duties/obligations on the State. Governments are to put into place domestic measures and legislation compatible with their treaty obligations and duties – laws and bioethics principles.  

Prof. Jegede facilitating at the retreat

On the last day of the retreat lectures on Ethics Committee training, Adjudication and Exploitation were reviewed by the facilitators. One participant said about the facilitators. “They do not merely teach; they give practical examples that you can relate to. You can tell that research ethics has been entrenched in them so deeply that it just pours out.”.

 The participants were presented with certificates of completion for the online blended diploma program in research ethics.

Prof. Jegede and the participants at the retreat

The Weekend retreat concluded with a vote of thanks from the participants to the Director Center for Bioethics and Research, the facilitators and administrators of the program. The participants were reimbursed for their transportation.

The Retreat was an expression of the Center for Bioethics and Research’s emphasis on Research Ethics Education and application to transforming the review of research protocols in Nigeria.

The following is a list of participants that completed the Online blended diploma program in Research Ethics.

Names Gender Designation
Orum Gabriel Terese Male Veterinary Doctor 
Nnaji Chinedu Simeon Male Statistician/assistant Administrator
Oluranti Idowu Olufemi Male Physiologist/Lecturer at Bowen University, Iwo.
Odeniyi  Michael  Olalekan Male Assistant Chief Medical laboratory Scientist
Kakako Ladipo Saheed Male Chemical pathologist/ Lecturer at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto
Afolabi-Tosin Folashade Female Laboratory Scientist
Leo-Olagbaye Afesobi Afunbioku Female Dentist/Registrar Lagos University Teaching Hospital
Ogunyemi Funmilayo Omotomilola Female Medical Laboratory Scientist at Bowen University, Iwo / Bowen University Teaching Hospital
Folarin Joseph Olalekan Male Monitoring & Evaluation Officer at Building Research and Innovation in Nigeria’s Science (BRAINS)
Adeniji Ajoke Oluwatobi Female Medical Laboratory Scientist at Bowen University, Iwo / Bowen University Teaching Hospital
Idowu Joseph Olufemi Male Medical Laboratory Scientist at Bowen University, Iwo / Bowen University Teaching Hospital
Mordecai Godstime Owajioniro Male Medical Laboratory Scientist
From left to right: Mrs Ogunyemi Funmilayo, Mr Mordecai Godstime, Mrs Afolabi Tosin, Mr Folarin Joseph Olalekan, Mr Orum Gabriel, Mrs Leo-Olagbaye Afesobi, Mr Oluranti Idowu Olufemi, Mr. Idowu Joseph Olufemi, Mr kakako Saheed, Mr. Odeniyi Michael Olalekan, Mrs Adeniji Ajoke Oluwatobi and Mr. Nnaji Chinedu Simeone.