Welcome to the University of Pretoria's Faculty of Health Sciences Research
Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash
As the situation with the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, there will be challenges in carrying out our research mission as well as our educational mission. As the COVID-19 outbreak expands and the impact evolves, the Faculty Executive is working closely with the UP Executive and colleagues from other Faculties to establish guidance specific to research operations. This guidance is intended to help the campus research community limit the impact and potential risk associated with the growing outbreak of COVID-19.
With the ongoing concern about the spread of this disease, laboratories, and research facilities should continue to plan for the possibility of a significant disruption to routine operations, guided by the Research Continuity Plan. Each laboratory or research facility is best positioned to create a continuity plan that will meet their unique needs, which you should have submitted to the Faculty Research Office, care of [email protected].
We will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available, however, we encourage you to visit University of Pretoria’s website (see: https://www.up.ac.za/coronavirus-updates) for the latest news and information.
Announcement and instruction to all researchers
The Faculty of Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee
Considering the announcements by the government in relation to COVID-19 on 23 March 2020, all researchers must minimise the risk of transmission at research sites and in studies involving human participants approved by the Research Ethics Committee. To this end,
- all non-therapeutic or non-interventional research data gathering involving contact with human participants should be suspended, with the exception of studies involving telephonic or other online/remote methods of data collection;
- everyone should endeavour to protect research participants, personnel and students in reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
For therapeutic and clinical research trials:
- Each research study or study site must develop a plan to minimise exposure to COVID-19 risk for all parties involved in the study, including but not limited to research participants, researchers and student researchers;
- Whenever feasible, in-person visits should be substituted with telephonic visits;
- Principal investigators and study sites should implement measures to ensure that there is no interruption of required medication/essential treatment and monitoring of adverse events;
- Researchers and study sites should develop a ‘COVID-19’ template register in case retrospective contact tracing becomes necessary;
- New enrolments into clinical trials should be suspended. Potential exceptions to this recommendation should be discussed with the chair or a deputy chair of the REC;
- Serious adverse events at a UP-site should be reported on the PeopleSoft system within 72 hours as usual.
Prof C (Tiaan) de Jager
Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences