Consensus Building Workshop on Priority Health Research Agenda 2022-2026 November 04, 2021
The priority health research agenda is one of the key tools which can help the health sector to identify and implement research based on the need of the country
Dr Martins emphasized on the importance of the research priority agenda as it will accelerate towards the achievements of UHC and SDG targets for Eritrea
On 4 November 2021, the Ministry of Health, Eritrea, organized a Consensus building workshop for the National Health Research Agenda document which the country has developed. The objective of the priority health agenda consensus workshop was to give all the technical expertise an opportunity to review and further enrich the document before final printing and dissemination. The priority health research agenda is one of the key tools which can help the health sector to identify and implement research based on the need of the country. Eritrea, as a continuation of commitment towards efforts and achievements of SDG and UHC targets has been making different approaches and initiatives to accelerate evidence-based policy directions. The country has drafted a National Health Research Agenda 2022-2026 whose objective is to give guidance for policymakers, researchers, funding agencies and other relevant parties on the top areas of research priority for health. The National Health Research Agenda was developed in collaboration with WHO and other stakeholders including health training institutions. Thus, resources can be equitably allocated, and knowledge and evidence can be produced so as to be used by planners, decision makers and policy makers. The last priority health agenda for Eritrea covered the year 2013 to 2017.
The MOH first established advisory committee and core-team to undertake planning, situation analysis, information gathering and synthesis as well as stakeholders’ consultations. The consultative process was conducted with different stakeholders such as the MOH at HQ as well as at the Zoba (Zonal) level, Academia, relevant line ministries and the UN Agencies working in the health sector. The thematic focus areas that have been prioritized include:
- Research to enhance and extend healthy lives
- Research on Health systems
- Research on Social, educational and behavioral health determinants and
- Research on healthcare innovations.
During the opening remarks of the workshop, Dr Berhane Debru, Director General of Policy, Planning and Human Resources Development welcomed participants and elaborated the timely importance of health research priority agenda. Dr. Berhane further explained that due to the transformation of health care delivery system and the dynamics of diseases and health conditions it is important that that research priorities for the country should be determined for short and longer terms. He further emphasized that it is key to streamline and coordinate top health research priorities. He explained that during the process of priority setting for health research agenda the following facts were taken into consideration 1. Research must be demand driven which can respond to a broader group of stakeholders 2. Magnitude of burdens, urgency of subject matter and also responding to social justice and equity 3. Research must be accepted ethically, socially and politically 4. Feasibility for undertaking is also very critical 5. Research should complement and avoid duplication of already existing knowledge.
Dr Martins Ovberedjo, WHO Representative on his remarks congratulated the Ministry of Health under the leadership of the Honourable, Minister of Health, Amina Nurhussien and thanked all who contributed their valuable expertise to the production of priority health agenda. Dr Martins emphasized on the importance of the research priority agenda as it will accelerate towards the achievements of UHC and SDG targets for Eritrea. He elaborated that research is a constant process of searching knowledge and information, thus it is part of our day today life. He also stated that our research should not focus only on academic objectives, but rather to bring practical improvement to health of our children, mothers and general population living in all places of Eritrea. He also reminded participants that research results must be used to guide policy directions and reforms.
During the workshop participants were divided themselves into four groups and reviewed the document. Each of the four groups presented comments and plenary discussion was conducted. Finally, all comments and points were considered, and the key ones incorporated into the final draft of the document. The priority health agenda 2021-2026 will be widely disseminated and put in public domain.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of WHO Regional Office for Africa.