Medical Research: ‘Set up more clinical trials in Nigeria’ – Health stakeholders urge

In a bid to advance healthcare in Nigeria and the West African region, scientists and medical experts have called for more clinical trials in the region.

The call was made at the Third Nigerian Annual Clinical Trial Summit in Lagos with the theme Advancing global clinical trials in West Africa Sub-region.

Speaking at the event, former  Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman and professor of Pharmacognosy, Maurice Iwu, said clinical research and associated clinical trials (CTs) are important for advancing public health and development of evidence-based medicine.

He further said, while delivering his paper on Leveraging Bilateral and Multilateral Opportunities in Clinical Research, that  the era of electronic digitalisation, internet and cloud-computing applications demand a review of extant methodologies used in clinical trials to fully take advantage of global clinical resources and assets.

Iwu pointed out that the registration of clinical trials in the public would enhance transparency, adding that it would also "increase trust in research, improve participation and safeguard against public bias.”

Also speaking at the event was the chairman, Association for Good Clinical Practice in Nigeria (AGCPN), Prof Ifeoma Okoye, who said clinical trials are essential to move healthcare forward as it aims to promote indigenous drug development and health.

The professor of Radiology at the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Enugu, said the country is presently making inroad in clinical trials, especially as research are ongoing on Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) drug.

The Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr Paul Orhii also added that his agency has approved 50 clinical trials, guided by guidelines and regulations of the World Health Organisation (WHO), on drugs and herbal medicine, including that of EVD.

He said clinical trials should be seen as a social good, adding that the public needs to participate in research.

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