Rwanda will, effective this year, add to its annual calendar, the day dedicated to Health Research and Policy, Health Ministry officials have announced.
The day, according to officials at Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC), will be celebrated “to pave way for establishment of a scientific program communication to reduce the gap between research, academics and policy in Rwanda”.
“Saving lives is not all about giving drugs and it’s not only meeting the patient. It’s beyond that. It’s how we can put the academic brain into the way we work,” Rwanda Biomedical Center Director General, Prof. Jeannine U Condo said.
Condo was delivering remarks at a meeting that brought together over 400 researchers, academics, health experts, and policy makers from across Africa and United States of America.
The meeting taking place in Rwanda’s capital Kigali seeks to harmonise a trend that beyond generating scientific evidence, there is need to have interface between research, policy and decision making.
Participants at the meeting agreed that “evidence should lead to right decisions.”
“In this era of the Sustainable Development Goals, evidence-based health care is driven by the population data to figure out the best treatments for various illnesses. We must have evidence, and we need the right kind of evidence,” Condo said.
In many African countries, it was noted, research-based evidence fails to inform decisions.
Dr. Patrick Ndimubanzi, State Minister at Rwanda’s Ministry of Health, said that for setting health policies, the ministry organises consultative meetings with stakeholders, but the participation of individuals and institutions not affiliated to the Ministry is still low.