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Regional News of Monday, 30 November 2009

Source: GNA

Navrongo Health Research Centre Marks 20th Anniversary

Navrongo (U/E), Nov. 30, GNA - Mr. Mark Woyongo, the Upper East Regional Minister, has commended the Navrongo Research Centre for the invaluable role it plays in the health sector. Making the commendation at the 20th Anniversary of the Health Centre at Navrongo, he said most of the research work conducted by the Health Centre had been adopted into the country's health policy.

The Minister said the administration of Vitamin A to infants, the use of impregnated bed nets in the control of malaria, the Community-based Health Planning System (CHPS) compounds where health delivery and family planning services are made accessible to community members among others had improved health delivery in the country.

He said in spite of this significant contribution the Centre had made to national development it was confronted with challenges including inadequate funds to support research work, its inability to attract and retain scientists and under developed infrastructure. Mr Woyongo said the government was more committed to the establishment of research centres and that government would be instituting a special fund to support research in the universities and science research centres including the Navrongo Health Research Centre. He said it was also the intention of government to introduce annual "Science Congress" for scientists and researchers to make their findings known so that institutions could implement them.

The Director of the Navrongo Health Research Centre, Dr. Abraham Hudgson, mentioned on-going projects by the Health Centre as an Artesunate trial, Intermittent Preventive Treatment (ITP) of Malaria in Pregnancy, Distribution channel for Schistosomiasis drugs on trial, the Bolgatanga-Urban Malaria Project, Malaria gene study, Use of Rapid Diagnostic Tests and Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Project. He said further studies by the Centre in the future would include Phase IV of the Malaria Studies, Malaria in Pregnancy Studies, Incentive Package for improved service delivery, Meningitis carriage studies, Community Distribution Initiatives, Health Insurance, Climate and Health and Malaria Vaccine trails.

He said the centre serves as a site for students from the University of Ghana Public Health School, South Africa and Georgia universities to undertake their field practice under the supervision and guidance of the researchers at the Centre.

The Regent of Navrongo Traditional Area, Pe Authur Weekem Balinia appealed to government to raise the Navrongo Health Research Centre into a Research Institute to become a centre of Excellence in Health Research in Africa.

He stressed the need for the government to vote more funds for the centre and pledged to give more land for the Centre to expand. 30 Nov 09

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