THE Vice-President, Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal, has expressed concern that much as the health sector is attracting greater attention than before, utilization of research findings in the area is still minimal in Tanzania.
Dr Bilal thus called for establishment of a national research communication forum where research institutions and policy making bodies would meet and share already synthesized and ready-to-use packages of new findings and innovations.
“One of the factors limiting utilization of research findings is the lack of an appropriate regulatory framework, to facilitate uptake of such findings into health policy.
It is time that such a national framework is formed,” Dr Bilal noted. He made the remarks while officiating at the 28th Annual Joint Scientific Conference organized by the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR).
The three-day event carries the theme; “Moving towards sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa; the post 2015 health agenda”.
Speaking earlier, the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Stephen Kebwe, highlighted that for research findings to be useful in the health sector it has to be disseminated to respective players.
“We need to strengthen medical research amid emergence of new diseases and results of such studies have to be utilized,” the Deputy Minister remarked.
The VP also commended NIMR towards plans to acquire a Mobile Laboratory Unit to detect and investigate highly pathogenic infections.
“Please use this facility to carry out studies on such deadly infections to generate evidence how to contain them.
“I am told that there will only be two such mobile labs in Sub-Saharan Africa, one in Tanzania that will cater for East and Central Africa and another one in Nigeria that will cater for West Africa,” he said.
Of recent years, the VP noted, a number of countries have experienced incidences of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases including Middle East Corona Virus, Dengue Fever, Ebola, Marburg Fever and West Nile Fever, among others.
“Ebola epidemic is killing our brothers and sisters in West Africa at present. We need to protect our people from these diseases which are not curable.
“To contain such diseases, however, we need reliable evidence to enable us put in place plans to implement appropriate interventions.
These evidences must come from rigorous researches,” the VP stated. The Country Director of United States’ Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr Michelle Rowland, said research is an important tool towards the post-2015 agenda at the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The Director General of NIMR, Dr Mwele Malecela, said participants at the conference are expected to review, present and discuss progress of MDGs in Tanzania and Sub- Sahara Africa as a whole, and deliberate on the post-2015 Development Agenda.