Wed | Dec 13, 2017

Gov’t providing grants for health research

Published:Saturday | November 25, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Takese Foga (right), director, Health Promotion and Education Unit, Ministry of Health, explains some of the negative effects of excess body fat to Corporal Sharnet Treasure of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, who visited one of the ministry’s information booths set up for the eighth staging of the annual National Health Research Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on Thursday.

The Ministry of Health will be providing three research grants of up to $1.5 million each for tertiary students pursuing studies in specific areas.

The grants are available to postgraduate students of the Northern Caribbean University; the University of Technology; and the University of the West Indies, Mona, who propose to undertake studies related to the top-10 health priority areas of the Government.

Applications for the one-year award will close on January 19 next year and a decision made by February 15.

Portfolio minister Dr Christopher Tufton officially launched the grant awards programme during the eighth staging of the annual National Health Research Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on Thursday.

He said that the objective is to promote credible research that supports the Government's health agenda.

He noted that health research has high value for society as it can provide, among other things, important information about disease trends and risk factors, outcomes of treatment on public health interventions, patterns of care, and the use and cost of health care.

 

HEALTHY AND STABLE POPULATION

 

The grant awards programme is being spearheaded by the Essential National Health Research Committee (ENHRC), which serves as the governing body for the coordination of research for health in Jamaica.

Chairman of the ENHRC Professor Rainford Wilks said that increased research can lead to improvements in the overall health of Jamaicans, thereby helping the country to achieve a healthy and stable population.

He said that the top-10 priority areas are universal access to health and universal health coverage; cancers, including cervical, breast, colon, prostate and their general outcomes and epidemiology; successful interventions for the treatment of cardiovascular conditions, including hypertension; factors affecting and the impact of violence and injuries (including intentional and unintentional injuries); and neglected tropical diseases and emerging and re-emerging diseases such as Zika, chikungunya, and Ebola.

Also being given priority is research into the financial sustainability for health; estimates of disease burden; the cost of disease burden; diabetes mellitus, including its effect on pregnancy; and the social determinants of infant, child, and adolescent health (including mortality).

Grant awardees are encouraged to present their findings at the annual National Health Research Conference. They will also be expected to develop findings into full manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals and may be asked to participate in other health fora.