Ghana Health Service to introduce research policy document

The Director of Research and Development Division, Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Abraham Oduro, says the Service will soon introduce a policy document to streamline research works across the three health research centres in Ghana.

The research centres at Navrongo, Kintampo and Dodowa, under the Division, started as one-man projects, without any policy document, he said.

‘Navrongo for instance started with vitamin ‘A’ trial, and then out of that, the Centre was birthed.’

Dr Oduro said the Centres undertook different forms of research without a policy document to guide them on priority areas and what should be done with their findings.

Without a policy document to decide the area of research for health policy development, the work of researchers in the Service would not be beneficial to the populace, he said.

Dr Oduro was speaking at the 2024 annual scientific review meeting of the Navrongo Health Research Centre (NHRC) in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality of the Upper East Region.

The meeting, held on th
e theme: ‘Exploring the synergies between health research and academia for development and excellence in tertiary education,’ brought together research scientists and officials in academia to deliberate on the theme.

He said with the support of the Director-General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the three research centres and the Policy Planning Department, a policy document was drafted in 2023.

‘We have the draft already, what we are basically doing now is to refine it. So we are hoping that by the close of this year, we would have come up with a document,’ he said.

‘For every institution, there is the need to have documents that detail what you are doing.’

Even though there was a Research Division at the GHS, to ensure that the work was well governed, there was the need for a policy to guide researchers on more relevant areas to conduct their studies.

‘There must be a policy on the kind of research, capacity development, a document that details the kind of people we need for research, and there m
ust be a policy to be able to tell us which areas are priority to the GHS,’ he said.

‘I think in modern times, we cannot just be working without a policy document. It is important that there is a policy document that directs new comers and those of us already in the system.’

Dr Patrick Odum Ansah, the Director of the Navrongo Health Research Centre (NHRC), said the review meeting offered the scientists and researchers the opportunity to showcase their work in the period under review.

The Centre, for the past 30 years, had been useful in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality and beyond, adding ‘We have taken up many of the serious health issues that plague the population.’

He said the Centre did not only concern itself with research for global health alone, but also focused on issues including diarrhoea, meningitis, pneumonia common among the populace.

‘We have gotten involved in the development of interventions like vaccines, and those vaccines have brought the diseases down, right in the communities before i
t spreads,’ Dr Ansah said.

He said the NHRC, as part of its work, evaluated government’s Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty programme to know if it achieved results.

‘They could not tell until we looked at it, and from our findings, it is a good programme, and has reduced violence in homes.’

‘So it is not only biological health, but we look into mental health, social health, and that makes us more relevant in the region.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

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