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JOHANNESBURG HEALTH DISTRICT DISTRICT RESEARCH COMMITTEE
Research conducted using human participants in the Johannesburg Health District is overseen by the Johannesburg Health District’s District Research Committee (DRC). Its purpose is:
- To coordinate the research activities in the District
- To mainstream these activities based on the District’s strategic and operational plans as well as compliance with local, provincial and National Health Strategies and Policies.
- To identify district research priorities using DHIS data, previous research and situational analysis and to provide strategic direction in the District in terms of Health research
- To identify research questions that aligns to district research priorities and in line with provincial priorities and to promote research on identified priorities and monitor such research.
- To develop a research active District where translational research becomes part of the routine District activity;
- To develop health research priorities in the District based on the gap analysis.
- To create a research agenda based on the priorities.
- To facilitate research capacity building programmes such as district research conferences.
- To communicate with the Provincial Health Research Council (PHRC) on any important issues.
WHAT IS THE DRC’S MISSION?
The District Research Committee upholds the highest standards in the conduct of research, including the protection of human participants, while creating an enabling environment to conduct relevant research in a timely and efficient manner. The primary mission of the District research Committee is to facilitate those objectives by reviewing, approving, modifying or disapproving research protocols submitted by the researchers. The DRC process is based on rules and regulations for the national, provincial legal and policy framework. The DRC strives to create in the District a culture of respect for, and awareness of, the rights and welfare of human research participants, while advancing knowledge and facilitating the highest quality research for improvement of the health of its residents.
All research projects involving human subjects must secure approval from a recognised Ethics Committee in South Africa in terms of National Health act (as amended) prior to initiating enrolment at the site. The purpose of a District Research Committee review is to assure, both in advance and by periodic review, that appropriate steps are taken to protect the rights and welfare of humans participating as subjects in a research study relevant to priorities of the District. To accomplish this purpose, DRC review research protocols and related materials (e.g., informed consent documents and study instruments) to ensure (a) protection of the rights and welfare of human subjects of research and (b) relevance of the research in terms of the priorities of the District.
Members of the Johannesburg Health District Research Committee (Joburg DRC)
To enhance the District’s research agenda and to ensure National and local health outcomes it would be prudent for all researchers to consider research topics encompassing the diseases of public health importance in the Johannesburg Health District: non-communicable diseases (namely diabetes and hypertension), communicable diseases (namely TB and HIV), diseases affecting maternal and child health.