Challenges facing National Health Research Systems in the WHO African Region|
Kirigia, Joses Muthuri & Ovberedjo, Martins O.
Many countries in the African region do not have functional national health research systems (NHRS) that generate, disseminate, uses, and archives health-related knowledge/ideas in published form (hard, electronic or audio forms). In such countries, death of each modern or traditional health practitioner constitutes a permanent loss of a library of knowledge, ideas, innovations and inventions. The WHO African Advisory Committee on Health Research and Development (AACHRD) has attributed the fragility of NHRS in the Region to poor environment for research, inadequate manpower, inadequate infrastructures and facilities, inaccessibility to modern technology, and lack of funds. The weak and uncoordinated NHRS partly explain the poor overall performance of majority of national health systems in the Region. Continued fragility of NHRS can be attributed to lack of implementation of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa and the World Health Assembly resolutions on health research. This paper urges African countries, to fully implement the contents of those resolutions, for substantive health research outputs to share with the rest of the world at the next Ministerial Summit on Research for Health, which will take place in the African Region in 2008.