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Protect human subjects, health researchers told

By URIEL C. QUILINGUING
Contributing Editor .

HEALTH professionals behind the 13th Philippine National Health Research System’s week-long celebration in Cagayan de Oro were in agreement that  human subjects involved in the conduct of health research projects must be protected.

For this, they urged all academic institutions of higher learning to establish research ethics committees.   

Dr. Carmencita D. Padilla, a pediatrics professor of the University of the Philippines Manila told a news conference that the REC is tasked to scrutinize research proposals for their compliance on ethical standards.

“Before researches are undertaken, the questionnaires must be reviewed by a REC before these get their approval,” Padilla who is with the UP Manila College of Medicine said.

Some research projects, she said, may even require parental consent if the subjects involve minors.

She said the country has 88 operational RECs, mostly in academic institutions, that review research proposals based on internationally accepted standards.

On Tuesday, a session on ethics in research was conducted and it was in that activity when issues on gender abuse, bias, and discomfort among human subjects in conducting researches were raised.

It was also there—in the presence of more than 300 participants—when high school students were mentioned as the most prevalent sampling as human subjects in researches.

In that session, Dr. Paulo Maria N. Pagkatipunan of the UP College of Medicine said the creation of the “research ethics committee is the solution in protecting high school students.”

Pagkatipunan, who gave a talk on “The Need for Ethics Review in the Health and Social Sciences,” said research findings showed only four out of 10 schools all over the country have RECs.    

Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, the lead coordinator of the PNHRS and executive director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, agreed with Padilla’s statements and that the  RECs are accredited by the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board.

The 13th Philippine National Health Research System’s week-long celebration  ended yesterday.

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