Background Infrastructural inadequacies and lack of research management expertise impede optimal research participation by Ministries of Health in Africa. The East African Consortium for Clinical Research (EACCR-2) network champions research strengthening through capacity building and partnership with local institutions to improve research output in the region. The Siaya County Referral Hospital was evaluated for research needs in preparation for a future clinical trial.
Methods In April 1018, we interviewed departmental in-charges or designees for administrative, financial and clinical data management, laboratory records and information technology (IT). Standardised assessment questionnaires were used.
Results Five of the seven respondents interviewed were males. Patient populations such as children, adolescents and pregnant mothers were identified as having unique characteristics. They are to be considered for future inpatient and outpatient clinical trials. There is little research exposure among clinical, data and laboratory staff despite some of them receiving GCP and GCLP training.
An Institutional Review Board (IRB) is in place and it reviews both academic research proposals and large multicentre clinical trials before studies are carried out. However, the members lack appropriate training in bioethics.
Acute staff shortage, reagent stock-outs, space constraints, and faulty equipment limit the laboratory’s capacity. Insufficient IT support and internet access cause delays in data entry. A lack of expertise in monitoring, data analysis and statistics, of financial management systems and library services were also identified.
Conclusion The hospital’s capacity to conduct clinical research is low. Assessment findings highlighted funding constraints faced at the referral hospital in a country burdened by disease. North-South partnership through EDCTP will contribute towards addressing part of these gaps.
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