Ghana Research Ethics

Gaining ethical approval for health research in ghana 

Ethical review committees for health research in Ghana, include, but are not limited to: The Ghana Health Service Ethical Review Committee, The Kintampo Health Research Centre Institutional Ethical Committee, the Navrongo Health Research Centre Institutional Review Board, and the Dodowa Ethical Review Committee. 

Ethics approval is required from the Navrongo Health Research Centre when researchers plan to collect data from individuals and organisations within the Upper East Region, Upper West Region, and Northern Region. Approval is required from the Kintampo Health Research Centre when data is to be collected within Volta Region, Western Region, Brong Ahafo Region and/or Ashanti Region. Finally, approval from the Dodowa Health Research Centre is required when researchers plan to collect data from participants and organizations within the Greater Accra Region, Central Region and Eastern Region of Ghana.

Please note that although Ghana has recently added new regions, these stated regions are the former ones.

For studies that will be conducted across more than one of the jurisdictions, it is possible to seek approval only at the GHS-ERC; however some research centres require studies approved at the national level that will be conducted in their jurisdiction to undergo additional review. For studies that are only conducted within one jurisdiction approval is only required from the local research centre board. However, some high-risk studies such as clinical trials may also require approval at the national level from the GHS-ERC.

Please contact the relevant administrator(s) to confirm the process for your study (see contact details below). The GHS RDD is in the process of synergizing the research ethics processes nationally between the various boards, so be advised that the guidelines stated here may change.

 

Ghana Health Service Ethical Review Committee (National)

The Ghana Health Service Ethical Review Committee (GHS-ERC) reviews and approves all proposals for health research within Ghana, particularly those to be conducted in GHS facilities and/or by GHS personnel. The GHS-ERC is housed within the Research and Development Division (RDD) of the Ghana Health Service (see address and directions below).

As of March 2019, reviews of protocols require a fee ranging from GHC50 – GHC3000 depending on the type of protocol.

The GHS-ERC is housed within Adabraka Polyclinic (entrance to the RDD is opposite the Accra Psychiatric Hospital).

The GHS RDD website provides very useful information on the ethics application process including forms and meeting dates

Contact information for the Administrator:

Ms. HANNAH FRIMPONG

Telephone: +(233) 0507041223 

Important information to note:

  • Where PI and researchers are all foreigners, a Ghanaian researcher must be included in the team, and should include support letters and CV(s).
  • Prospective researchers must submit their protocols and other relevant documents two weeks prior to the next Committee meeting. The GHS-ERC meeting schedule is posted on the website
  • The ERC suggests that one hard copy of the full protocol together with all supporting documents should first be submitted to the ERC Secretariat for administrative check before copies are made and bound
  • The RDD Division will photocopy and bind protocols at a cost
  • Please note that the GHS-ERC consent statements (see the website) must be used in your informed consent sheets word for word
  • Please note that where applicable, for the GHS-ERC and other boards (NHRC, etc) it is expected that researchers append to their application separate letters of introduction for each institution/health facility that they plan to seek information from. These letters should describe the study briefly, including the specific activities to be conducted at the particular site and should include a statement which indicates that the study is under review or has been approved by the GHS-ERC.

 

Navrongo Health Research Centre Institutional Review Board 

Please note that the ethics board only meets once bimonthly as opposed to the GHS-ERC which meets every month. The NHRC IRB website provides very useful information on the ethics application process including forms and meeting dates.

Contact information for the administrator: 

CLETUS TINDANA

Telephone: +(233) 020 166 0158

Email: irb@navrongo-hrc.org

 

Dodowa Health Research Centre

The board generally meets bimonthly (every other month), however the dates may change based on demand. The NHRC IRB website provides very useful information on the ethics application process including forms and meeting dates:

Contact information for the administrator: 

MS. IRENE HONAM TSEY

Telephone: (+233) 0208 420640

hirene.tsey@gmail.com/irene.tsey@dodowa-hrc.org

 

Kintampo Health Research Centre Institutional Ethics Committee 

Kintampo generally has the same guidelines as that of DHRC. The DHRC IRB website provides very useful information on the ethics application process including forms and meeting dates (usually 3rd Tuesday of every month).

Contact information for the administrator: 

Ms. OPHELIA OPOKU

Telephone: (+233) 0549629341/ (+233) 0352092037/ (+233)0577603239/ (+233)0504270501

Email: ophelia.opoku@kintampo-hrc.org/ethics@kintampo-hrc.org