Vector Control Division Research Capacity & Regulation in Neglected Tropical Disease Control In Uganda.
The Vector Control Division–Research and Ethics Review Committee (VCD-REC) was established in 2003. It is an REC that has been functioning under the supervision of Uganda National Council of Science and Technology (UNCST). The purpose of the REC is reviewing health research so as to contribute in safeguarding the dignity, rights, safety, and well being of all actual or potential research participants. The principles of “respect for the dignity of persons” require that each person should be treated as an independent entity, capable of making decisions about themselves and their personal aspirations. The VCD-REC has always tried to ensure that the principle of “justice” is observed. Although the goals of research are important, it unethical to allow it to override the health well being and care of research participants.
The need for the VCDREC arose out of volume of research in the specialised areas of vector borne diseases namely Lymphatic Filariasis, Onchocerciasis, Bilharzia, (Soil Transmitted Helminths) STH, sleeping sickness, etc. This has over the years grown to encompass Neglected Tropical Disease. Having realised the serious need for sound knowledge and practice regarding Ethical review for research proposals/protocols including clinical trials, members sought specialized training in the following areas: overall Ethics Review progress with dates and duration; a) HAT platform and Kenya Medical Research institute (KEMRI) attendance of certification , b) Dennis Bilharziasis Laboratory (DBL) certification attendance and certification , c) Clinical monitors- HAT platform and KEMRI, d) Administration of REC by HAT platform and KEMRI; e) UNCST Annual General meeting with CDP on Research
The REC had a direct outcome of these trainings and the CDP have benefited from valuable literature materials which now form treasured references. Because of the tremendous experience gained and due to continuing demand from both local and international prominent researchers, VCD-REC has been championing the lead in the process of Research proposals/protocols in the area of vector borne diseases, Neglected tropical Diseases, Neglected Zoonotic diseases and public health in general in Uganda.
For information on research and collaboration related to NTDs in Uganda, please contact the officer responsible, Mr. Adriko Moses.