Geared at promoting the use of operational health research which can be used to guide medical practice, the plans for the 56th Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC) conference slated for April 14-16 at the Princess Hotel, East Bank Demerara, are moving apace.
And not only is a large turnout of local young health professionals expected, but according to CHRC Director, Dr Donald Simeon, over 10 papers of research done in Guyana, by Guyanese, will be presented at the conference.
Among those identified to present papers will be health professionals drawn from the Ministry of Heath, the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and the University of Guyana.
“These are excellent research which I myself am hoping will be used to guide policy development and medical practice in Guyana…We are expecting that the meeting would stimulate other young health professionals to be involved in research.”
The annual conference, according to Dr Simeon, is very important in terms of sharing research findings with persons who can actually benefit from such materials. The CHRC, he said, is about the promotion of evidence to guide policy makers, programme managers and care providers as it relates to best practices, thus are used as a guidance tools. Dr Simeon explained that such fora are designed to cater to a wide cross section of stakeholders including research scientists, care providers, policy makers and all other persons involved in producing and using the research findings.
“I think it is critical that it is being held in Guyana now, because of the support for research and for us to really increase the level of interest to conduct research.”
And there will be special registration rates for Guyanese who wish to attend the three-day conference, according to Dr Simeon. He revealed that the rates for Guyanese, which will include the cost for attending the meeting, coffee break and lunch, is US$100 for the three days, while the cost for other delegates will be US$350.
And there are other special daily rates that will be offered.
“We are hoping to really encourage as many persons as possible to come out and share. The meeting is about partnership as well, in that we identify who are the persons throughout the Caribbean with similar interests and can perhaps work with you in the conducting of research. You also have the opportunity to talk with researchers to get more information about research they are doing and how those research findings can be used.”
The conference will incorporate an awards banquet which will be held on April 15 during which two accomplished health researchers from the Caribbean will be honoured. The honorees are Professor Peter Figueroa who has done extensive research in the area of HIV/AIDS and Professor Nigel Harris, a Guyanese who is currently the Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies Mona Campus in Jamaica.
CHRC, according to Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy, has been promoting research in the Caribbean for over 50 years and has been a leading institution in this regard.
Dr Ramsammy recounted that in 2002, CHRC had held its annual Scientific Conference in Guyana and now about 10 years after “we are pleased that CHRC will be holding its annual Scientific Conference in Guyana. We expect a large number of Caribbean Scientists and Public Health Practitioners to attend this meeting”.
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