Navrongo (UER), Oct 27, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Wednesday asked staff of the Navrongo Health Research Centre to show a lot of initiative in their activities.
He said they should not wait for the Ministry of Health (MOH) to instruct them on issues in the health sector before they began their research work.
"You are in a functional engagement and should therefore show a lot of initiative but not wait for the sector ministry to come up with health issues before you research into them", he added. President Kufuor made the call when addressing staff of the Centre as part of his official tour of the Upper East Region.
He said researchers were very vital in the socio-economic development of every country but their activities were always in the background.
"Yours are efforts that are not rewarded. You must be knowledgeable to be a researcher, have a vision before you can research into any issue to achieve results and success", he said.
President Kufuor said the Government appreciated the role of researchers and pledged the Government's commitment to encourage staff of the Centre for their work for the nation although the bulk of their work was concentrated in the northern sector of the country. "You should therefore show the initiative and apply your knowledge so that we can achieve much success in the health sector".
He said, "whatever the Government can do in terms of research and emoluments the Government will do to support you. This is an interactive Government that will support you. We expect more results from you".
President Kufuor said the problem of sanitation in the country was one area the Centre could undertake a research into for improvement. Dr Abraham Hodgson, Director of the Centre, said it started in 1989 as a field station of the Ministry of Health to investigate the effects of Vitamin A supplement on child survival.
He said their results showed that by giving vitamin A to children under five years their chances of survival was increased by 20 per cent. Dr Hodgson said this was now a national policy and all children in Ghana were being given Vitamin A.
He said in 1992 the Centre was established as a Research Centre of the Ministry to research into health problems facing the people of Northern Ghana and to inform policy decisions on interventions that would improve the health of Ghanaians.
Dr Hodgson said the Centre's research work was now focused on malaria, Cerebro-Spinal-Meaningitis (CSM), community health and family planning, adolescent sexual and reproductive health and female genital mutilation, findings from which had the potential to improve the lives of Ghanaians.