The Director of Medical Affairs at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), Dr Ali Samba, has urged medical practitioners in Ghana to conduct more applied and operational research in their various fields of specialisation. That, he said, would help inform policies, improve and provide better healthcare outcomes in the country.
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Speaking at an event to mark the establishment of the ‘Korle Bu Research Day’, Dr Samba said there had not been enough attention paid to research as an essential tool for shaping policy in health care in the country.
“We need to get more departments in hospitals to conduct more operational research that will inform practice and also justify whatever information we receive from our partner institutions,” he said.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Dr Samba explained that the ‘Korle Bu Research Day’ was instituted to be part of the hospital’s effort at influencing medical practice at its various departments.
The inaugural event was held on the theme: “Generating research evidence in a digital healthcare delivery system”.
On the occasion, various health practitioners and scholars made presentations on different research topics on health and medicine.
Dr Samba said the Research Day would be an annual event the hospital would observe to encourage more research work towards improving the healthcare delivery system, particularly at Korle Bu, the nation’s premier teaching hospital and biggest facility for referrals.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Daniel Asare, commended the participants for submitting their research works and stated that management would provide funding to assist practitioners and students in their research endeavours.
He stressed the need for both scholars and practitioners to make research a regular activity, insofar as healthcare delivery was concerned.
He hinted that the hospital would, this year and in subsequent years, reward deserving employees for their contribution to its achievements.
Technology and health care
A lecturer and advocate with the Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Professor Lorna Awo Renner, revealed that research works at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital had tripled over the last four years from 50 in 2016 to 134 in 2019.
She, however, expressed worry over the fact that majority of the research works were from students, rather than practitioners, and that, to her, was not encouraging enough if healthcare delivery in the hospital and, indeed, the country was to be enhanced.
She urged those who ventured into research to leverage digitisation and health information systems as means to gather more data for their research works.
“In this era of technology, health practitioners should aim at taking advantage of health information systems to gather information for their samples and to ensure there is continuous update and innovation in the health sector,” Prof, Renner advised.