The Uganda National Council for Science and Technology is set to phase out paper submissions by all accredited Research Ethics Committees (REC) in Uganda. The aim is to promote efficiency in reviewing research protocols, allow for multi-REC ethical review, and subsequent registration and monitoring of approved studies.
This was revealed during a three-day training of REC administrators and institutional ICT focal persons on how to use the-yet-to-be deployed National Research Information Management System code named NRIMS. The inaugural training was conducted at Busitema University with the participation of all the 25 accredited RECs.
Under the Scaling up of Capacity of Research Ethics Committees in Uganda (SCRECU) project, UNCST will equip all RECs with the necessary skills concerning the use of the new digital system before eventually going live later in the year. This will facilitate easy migration from the current voluminous paperwork to a more convenient and user-friendly online platform.
On average 700 new research protocols are annually registered at UNCST, this requires provision on adequate storage facilities, retrieval, and proper security controls. There is also the growing need for proper coordination of the multiple ethical regulatory authorities – RECs, UNCST, National Drug Authority (NDA) and Office of the President. The SCRECU project is thus a timely development feeding into the wider UNCST digital processes.
While officiating at the training, Dr. Peter Ndemere, the UNCST Executive Secretary applauded the participants for exhibiting enthusiasm and eagerness to work with the new platform and appealed for further cooperation with UNCST programmes.
SCRECU and NRIMS are implemented with support from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership.