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INAUGURATION OF KATH INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD (IRB)

The Chief Executive has formally inaugurated the KATH Institutional Review Board to provide a quick review of applications for approval for research projects at the hospital. The hospital has hitherto, depended upon the KNUST for ethical clearance of research projects and the inauguration of the IRB is to help provide an expedited one-stop shop for the processing of research applications.

The Board is Chaired by Prof. Kwabena Antwi-Danso, an Honorary Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and former Head of the O&G Directorate of the hospital and former Dean of the School of Medical Sciences of the KNUST.

Members of the IRB in a pose with KATH Management

Other members of the Board include Dr. Frank Micah-Consultant Physician Specialist, Dr. Ernest Adjei-Senior Specialist and Head of the Laboratory Services Directorate and Dr. Ruth Owusu, Head of the Public Health Unit, KATH.

Others are Dr. Kwadwo Sarbeng, Senior Specialist and Head of the Research and Development Unit, Mr. Peter Yamoah, Principal Pharmacist, Mr. Isaac Boakye, Deputy Chief Health Research Officer and Hagar Addo, a lawyer. The remaining members are Dr. Stephen Sarfo, Hon. Consultant Neurologist, Dr. Rita Larsen-Reindorf, Hon. Consultant, E.N.T. Unit and Prof. Kofi Osei-Akuoko of the KNUST.

Members of the IRB present at the inauguration. Seated from left to right are Dr. Kwadwo Sarbeng, Head of R&D, Dr. Kwabena Antwi – Danso, Chairman and Dr. Ruth Owusu. Standing from left to right are Mr. Frank Micah Consultant Physician Specialist, Lead Clinician – Medicine Directorate, Mr. Isaac Boakye, Deputy Chief Health Research Officer, Dr. Ernest Agyei, Head of Laboratory Services Directorate and Mr. Peter Yamoah, Principal Pharmacist.

Prof. Antwi-Danso described the formation of the Board as long overdue due to the tremendous growth in post-graduate training programmes at the hospital and their associated research projects. He said the KNUST Committee on which researchers depended upon for ethical clearance for their projects over the years was now under enormous pressure. This is due to the astronomical increase in students and academic research projects at the University following the quantum rise in its population.

Prof. Antwi-Danso promised that the Board will be independent and dedicated to the promotion of ethical research and protection of clients in its bid to engender a research culture at the hospital.

‘’The KATH-IRB will review various kinds of research protocols including Clinical trials, Biomedical/Epidemiological studies, Social Science studies, implementation research and all other research protocols that involve the use of human participants’’, he asserted.

The Chief Executive expressed the gratitude of Management to Members of the Board for agreeing to serve on it. He said research is one of the core mandates of the hospital and it is important that with the current growth and institutional maturity of the hospital, it gets its own Board to promote that mandate.

The Chief Executive said the hospital has its own institutional practices and culture and therefore, any person wanting to conduct a research here ought to pass though the Board for review and approval. He was hopeful that with the establishment of the Board, the approval process for research projects will be more expedited than before and thus help to increase research activities at the hospital.

The KATH-IRB is expected to review various kinds of research protocols including Clinical trials, Biomedical/Epidemiological studies, Social Science studies, implementation research and all other research protocols that involve the use of human participants.

KATH-IRB, through its Federal-wide Assurance (FWA00028590) and registered IRB (IRB00012167) with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), fulfills all requirements as a duly constituted IRB.

KATH thus have an active Federal-wide Assurance and agrees to apply 45 CFR Part 46 whenever KATH “becomes engaged in human subjects research conducted or supported by any U.S. federal department or agency that has adopted the U.S. Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects.