Promoting research for the fragile Somali health system –
Main findings from a successful conference
Keywords:Health Research, Capacity building, Opportunities, Universal health coverage
A 3-day conference was held in Garowe from the 30th of January to the 1st of February 2022 under the leadership of the Somali National Institute of Health to strengthen the foundation of health research in the country by promoting strategies for health research capacity building, sharing available evidence for action, and widening research collaborative networks. The conference was also instrumental in concretizing plans for improving the existing Somali Universities’ health research performance. It was jointly organized and supported by the National Institute of Health, the Federal Ministry of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Agency of Sweden, the Somali Swedish Researchers’ Association, and a consortium of Somali and Swedish universities. The Puntland State Ministry of Health hosted the conference. This paper summarizes topics presented at the conference and identifies gaps and opportunities for research capacity strengthening in Somalia, which would generate evidence to inform public health policies.
An Organizing Committee for the management and logistics of the conference and a Scientific Committee were established, the latter providing expertise in selecting key research topics and speakers/delegates for the conference. More than 180 participants from academic institutions and the health sector service delivery network attended the conference. Twelve panel presentations and 51 abstracts were delivered, covering health system research priorities. Of the 51 presented abstracts, 35% were on communicable diseases, 26% on reproductive maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health, 24% were on the health system, and 16% on non-communicable diseases. The conference also highlighted the need to build research capacity to support researchers and institutions to strengthen their research skills, including research methodology, data analysis, interpretation, and scientific writing. Highly relevant findings were presented that had the potential to inform health policy and scale up the community-based health services towards Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals.
Copyright (c) 2023 Khalif Bile , Marian Warsame, Abdifatah Dirie, Mukhtar Bulale
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