The Navrongo Health Research Center in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality of the Upper East Region, has organized their annual engagement meeting with the Paramount and Divisional Chiefs in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality and Kassena-Nankana West District.
The move was aimed at sharing their research findings and to also solicit their views on various aspects of their proposed research activities among others.
The Navrongo Health Research Center started in 1988 as a field site to investigate the impact of repeated large doses of Vitamin A Supplementation on child survival in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality.
Underlying all the scientific research activities of the center is its active engagement with the traditional leaders and community members in the area.
For the past years, the NHRC has continued to recognize the leadership of the local community, as an important partner of research activities.
NHRC community engagement strategy has been to consult with the traditional leaders at the beginning of every project, solicit community views on various aspects of proposed research, and organize community durbars and to provide information on research projects and also provide a platform to disseminate research findings at the end of projects or research activities.
This approach has continued to strengthen the relationship between the center and the local community.
In an interview with gbconline, the Head of Clinical Research Unit at the Navrongo Health Research Center, Dr. Patrick Ansah, stated that, NHRC is where a lot of health policies guiding the Ghana Health Services and international health agencies.
The center studied and launched the vitamin A supplementation trials from (1988-1992) Insecticides Treated bednets (1994-1995), the community Health and Family Planning (CHFP), development of a Meningitis Vaccine, the Rotavirus Studies (2003-2004) among others.
Dr. Ansah added that, NHRC is currently working in close collaboration with the Korean Development Agency to bring more improvement and modification into the CHIP program.
The Director of the Navrongo Health Research Center, Dr. Abraham Rexford Oduro, indicated that, despite the numerous successes chalked up by NHRC, such as training University Students, building laboratories for hospitals, the challenge however reamin core funding, which he said is the pivot of the center’s activities.
Dr. Oduro stated, the retention of experience staff is a problem because staffs know they are not on government pay roll.
Aside that it is expensive to undertake a research project. He however, lauded the government for absorbing 10 percent of the 300 staff of the center.
The Paramount Chief of Nakong, Pe Joseph Banape Afagachie, also in an interview with gbcghanaonline, has expressed satisfaction about the contribution of the health research center in the health sector over the years.
The center has been at the forefront in the search for new ways to fight the menace of malaria in Africa.
Safety and efficacy studies of various drug combinations for the treatment of malaria have been carried out at the NHRC.
Key among such studies is the drug combination of Artesunate-Amodiaquine whose safety and efficacy has been proven and adopted as the first line treatment for uncomplicated malaria in African countries.
Story by: Emmauel Akayeti