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Conduct regular clinical research, medical practitioners urged

MEDICAL practitioners have been challenged to build a culture of conducting clinical research that will help in addressing challenges facing the country’s heath sector. Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) Board of Trustees Chairman, Prof Charles Majinge said that research and innovation were crucial for improving healthcare efficiency and proper utilisation of resources.

“Research has shown that health sector guidelines and priorities derived from the studies conducted within the respective area have saved a lot of money, this is based on the fact that not every guideline will bring positive results in the health sector, hence it is important to be assured of the guidelines issued,” Prof Majinge said.

He also challenged medical professionals to come up with alternative ways of providing better healthcare under limited financial and human resources.

Prof Majinge was speaking yesterday at a research dissemination symposium held at MNH – Mloganzila, with the theme ‘Translating Research into Clinical Practice: From bench to bedside.’ In his keynote presentation, MNH Executive Director, Prof Lawrence Museru said that in recent years, there has been a paradigm shift from experience- based to evidence based practice in medicine.

“Evidence suggests that patients who receive care in research - active hospitals have better health outcomes .... Research based hospitals tend to be advanced in learning and more likely to have wider treatment options and hence benefit patients,” Prof Museru said.

He further added that medical professionals working within a healthcare organisation have excellent opportunity for carrying out clinical research due to their close access to patients and opportunity for clinically driven research questions.

“There are benefits associated with research engagement within the healthcare organisations, which include increased productivity, efficiency and lower patient mortality,” he said. He, however, said that healthcare providers who engage in research were less likely to be burnt out and hence reduce staff turnover.

“Despite these benefits, many clinicians working within healthcare organisations are not engaged in clinical research adequately ... the challenges that lead to lower research output among healthcare providers, including lack of skills and confidence in research and lack of opportunities to undertake research,” he noted.

He further said that MNH was committed in creating favourable infrastructure supporting research use, including research activities in job description and performance appraisal for senior professionals and link evidencebased guideline development and clinical practice to quality assurance.

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Author: By LYDIA SHEKIGHENDA

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