The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is the principal regional institution charged with providing strategic direction in analyzing, defining and responding to the public health priorities of Member States. Research is one of its core functions and it has a responsibility to facilitate the establishment of systems that ensure that all studies conducted in its Member States comply with the highest ethical standards. These systems will include facilities for the independent review of the ethical acceptability of research involving humans to ensure that participants’ rights, dignity, safety and well-being are protected. CARPHA’s roles include building capacity in its Member States to establish and manage research ethics committees as well as hosting an independent Committee.
CARPHA’s Research Ethics Committee (REC) will provide ethical oversight for research involving human participants conducted under its auspices, that is, research conducted by staff or funded by CARPHA. Upon request, the services of the REC will also be extended to CARPHA Member States (CMS).
These documents will be accessed through websites/webpages where pertinent and available.CARPHA’s REC has adopted as its basis for decision making the Ethical Requirements for Research with Human Participants as well as the Fundamentals Considerations necessary in Research with Human Participants recommended by the Bioethics Society of the English Speaking Caribbean
For a research programme involving human participants to be considered “ethical”, it must meet all the following seven (7) requirements for research with human participants:
An eighth (8th) requirement exists when the research involves international collaboration:
8. Collaborative partnership. Overseas and local collaborators share the responsibility for determining the health problem and value of the research to the local community, for respecting the community’s values and traditions, and ensuring that the enrolled participants and the community receive fair beneﬁts from the conduct of the research.
Decisions taken by the REC should emerge from thorough and inclusive discussion and deliberation with fair exchange of opinion and ideas.