Creating research culture is a challenge for Health RAB-Prof. A.G. Billoo


Creating research culture is a challenge
for Health RAB-Prof. A.G. Billoo

KARACHI: There is no dearth of funding. Funds for research are available from various agencies, institutions within the country like PMRC, HEC etc. as well as international agencies like WHO, NICH, Wellcome Foundation etc., provided the research proposals are sound and deal with the problems faced in the country. Research culture does not exist in Pakistan and to promote research culture in Pakistan is a challenge for Health Research Advisory Board (Health RAB). This was stated by Prof. A.G. Billoo Chairman of Health Rab while summing up the discussion while reviewing the working and accomplishments of Health Rab, held here recently;. The meeting was very well attended by representatives from various disciplines of medicines and medical institutions.

Participants, Prof. Billoo said have made very useful comments and suggestions like data collection, record keeping, lack of baseline data, prevalence of various diseases, why the clinicians should undertake research, lack of National Registry in various fields etc. He pointed out that clinicians should spare some time for research while doing clinical practice. We have too many medical colleges where there is no research and we see no publications from those institutions. He wishes that we had some representatives from PMA, Government agencies like PMRC, PM&DC, CPSP in such discussion forums. Almost 40% of our people have no access to basic healthcare. Does not it need research to find out why we have failed so far while our neighboring country Iran has an excellent primary health care, he asked.

Earlier the issues which were raised by various participants included lack of facilities for record keeping and data collection. Dr. Rizwan Azmi suggested to have a standardized Performa for data collection and involvement of professional specialty organizations, societies. We also need to have standardized format for history taking, writing of operating notes. Prof. Sohail Akhtar suggested collection data on various diseases like TB, COPD, Asthma, Diabetes etc. How to regulate funding and ensure ethics and morality in research also figured in the discussion. Dr. Shahid Noor said that we need to have a group of like mined people and we can do it. He showed a copy of Pakistan National Joint Registry which he has compiled. It all shows that these things are do able but we need some devoted people. Prof. Kamran Hameed emphasized the importance of developing basic infrastructure, working in collaboration with CROs and tapping national as well as international resources for research.

Earlier Dr. Zaki in his introductory remarks talked about the objectives of Health RAB and gave details of some of the projects on which it is working. He also mentioned about the achievements made so far.