Health Ministry announces new Institutional Review Board members

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced the appointment of several new members to its Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Ethics Committee, who are responsible for reviewing research proposals and granting permission to conduct research in Guyana.

The Board is being chaired by Director of the School of Medicine at the University of Guyana, Dr Reeta Gobin and includes the following members:

  • Dr  Narine Singh- Chief Medical Officer, MOH,
  • Dr  Pheona Mohamed- Representative, Institute of Health Sciences Education
  • Dr  Shamdeo Persaud- Representative, Medical Community
  • Dr  Rudolph Cummings- Representative, Medical Community
  • Dr  Karishma Jeeboo- Representative, University of Guyana (Pharmacy)
  • Ms Nicola Melville-Nero- Representative, Nursing Community 

The panel also includes a representative from a private medical school and the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs. The names of these persons will be announced at a later date.

The new members begin their two-year terms at the IRB, effective today January 13 and have agreed to convene monthly to discuss and review research proposals to ensure research ethics and best practices are upheld.

The IRB was established under the provision of Regulation (2007) under the Ministry of Health Act (6 of 2005) of the Laws of Guyana.  The network provides a sustainable infrastructure for research ethics review and promotes exchange and collaboration in matters of research and research ethics within Guyana. It also affords harmonisation of multidisciplinary ethical reviews aimed at improving the protection of human participants in all aspects of medical and health-related research involving human beings, human material and data and augment the sharing of information and intellectual resources, policies, and review strategies in the country. 

The inauguration meeting of the new IRB was addressed by Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony, who outlined the MOH vision and reputations of the body.

“The IRB is being tasked with establishing a web portal for submission of research proposal and a tracking tool to view the progress of reviewing these proposals. They are also expected to develop an electronic repository for proposals and final reports and run courses on research methodology and ethics,” Dr. Anthony said.

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