Navrongo is research friendly because the people lived with researchers, know their records – NHRC

Health Navrongo is research friendly because the people lived with researchers, know their records – NHRC
FEB 27, 2024 LISTEN

Dr Patrick Odum Ansah, Director of the Navrongo Health Research Centre (NHRC), says Navrongo, the Kassena-Nankana Municipal capital of the Upper East Region is one of the friendliest towns for research.

He said residents of Navrongo had lived with Researchers from the Centre for decades and were comfortable with the excellent record of accomplishment of the NHRC in research over the years.

“Navrongo is one of the friendliest places for research because the people have lived with the Researchers, they are sure of what they can do and they know their records,” he told the Ghana News Agency in an interview, after his opening address at a two-day annual scientific review meeting of the Centre.

The meeting was on the theme, “Exploring the synergies between health research and academia for development and excellence in tertiary education.”

He said the NHRC after its successful continuous operation in Navrongo and its environs over the years, extended its services to the Bongo, Builsa North and South Districts, “For now, we have done some studies in Bongo, we have gone to Builsa North, Builsa South and we are working there.”

He said the initiative to extend their services to the three Districts meant that more people would be available for research, and that the more the burden of research was distributed among the entire population, the more useful it was.

Dr Ansah said “You cannot use only a few people to do research. The general principle of ethics is that, as much as possible, all those who are going to use the product should take part in the research. As we expand more, we are bringing this ethical principle to bear.

“That is, everybody will take part in the research, its risks, and the benefits. So Builsa is under our care now, in Bongo, we do some studies there,” he said.

The Director said management would consider expanding its work beyond the Upper East to the North East and Savannah Regions to conduct as many studies as possible, if the Centre got funds, “The benefits of this is that it injects some investment into the health system.

“Healthcare becomes better and general health knowledge among the population increases. The contact with the communities alone improves the health of the people, and so if we can expand beyond our borders, it will bring better benefits to the whole population.” he added.

Speaking on the theme of the meeting, Professor James Akazili, the Keynote Speaker, said in an era marked by unprecedented challenges and opportunities, the role of research centres and academia was more critical than ever.

“It is a call that transcends borders, disciplines, and institutions, echoing the collective need for knowledge, innovation, and collaboration. In our current interconnected world, challenges know no boundaries.

“Thus, whenever we grapple with climate change, global health crises, limited health funding or resource allocation, the search for effective solutions demands collaboration that extends beyond geographical and disciplinary confines,” he said.

Professor Akazili said the call for industry and academia was a call to unite, to pool their collective intellect and resources in pursuit of solutions that could impact the entire globe.

“Over the years, the role of academia has become more crucial than ever; we find ourselves in a world marked by technological revolutions, global knowledge production and complex challenges that demand innovative solutions.

“In this context, the academic community serves as a vanguard, equipping the next generation with the requisite tools, skills, and knowledge to navigate this dynamic terrain,” the Keynote Speaker said.