Research must support interventions in the health sector – Rector

Accra, Professor David Ofori-Adjei, former Rector of the College of Surgeons and Physicians, has advised stakeholders in the health sector to ensure that health research supports productive interventions that challenge inequalities and address policy gaps.

He said for effective policy implementation of research recommendations, it was necessary to link research to impacts, costs and benefits whereas policy makers must ensure reframing policy issues to fit the research.

Professor Ofori-Adjei said this at the opening ceremony of the two-day bi-annual National Health Research Dissemination Symposium 2017, organised by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Ghana Health Service and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

He encouraged practitioners to strive to make research fit into the national health agenda in order to become useful sources for policy models rather than remain dormant on the shelves.

The symposium, which was the second to be funded by USAID on the theme: From Research to Policy and Practice: Evidence-based Decision Making for Equitable Improvements in Health Status” brought together 200 researchers, policymakers, senior health service professionals and development partners.

It focused on translating research findings into policy and practice to empower Ghana’s health research institutions to live up to their mandate of generating data to inform decision-making in priority areas such as new-born and child health; malaria, nutrition; and family planning.

Prof. Ofori-Adjei said researches on improving the healthcare system should align with real needs of government in terms of will, skill and resources and factor in concerns of civil society and the private sector.

He, however, bemoaned the weak capacity of state systems to absorb findings and recommendations of well-conducted researches due to lack of funding to implement them.

Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the Minister of Health, in a speech read on his behalf, said low income countries including Ghana faced additional challenges to using research evidence like weakness of the health systems and lack of professional regulation, structured platform for exchange of information between researchers and policy makers, and access to evidence.

He, therefore, reiterated government’s commitment to strengthening health institutions and mechanisms that could promote interactions between researchers, policy-makers and other stakeholders who could influence the use of research findings.

Madam Akua Kwateng-Addo, the USAID/Ghana Director of Health, Population and Nutrition Office, said health research should not only generate knowledge but should be the basis for healthcare interventions.

She said: We at USAID Ghana are committed to addressing Ghana’s most challenging health problems through research, introduction and scaling up of evidence-based solutions.

Source: Ghana News Agency