Workshop geared at enhancing Guyana’s health research, information opens

Librarians, researchers and health professionals are participating in a workshop that will allow them to access valuable evidence-based information, journals and literature to boost Guyana’s health research and information system.

Research4Life, Virtual Health Library and Med Carib commenced the training for these personnel at Pegasus Suites and Corporate Centre, Kingston, Georgetown on Monday.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, delivering the feature address, stated that it is integral to addressing the underrepresentation of Guyana in the research field globally.

It also serves as a platform to develop a research agenda in Guyana, he emphasised.

“When you look at the global literature, we’re always underrepresented and sometimes when we do research, we’re not putting it in the right place so that people can access it and that’s a problem,” he noted.

PAHO/WHO Representative, Dr. Luis Codina

He said the ministry is seeking to develop a local document repository, to allow researchers to access reliable information and to upload data and information about Guyana’s healthcare landscape.

“I am sure there are other areas in the country like at the University of Guyana where they have more mature systems but there is no rationale why we can’t have several of these things so that we can have more than one location where we can document,” Minister Anthony expressed.

Chief Librarian at the University of Guyana, Gwyneth George

Additionally, there are many research opportunities in Guyana and the minister said there is a need for locals to make use of these chances.

“There are lots of avenues that we can look at to get literature because an integral part of our research is looking at what exists, where are the gaps and then try to address those gaps,” he added.

Regional Advisor, PAHO/WHO, Knowledge Management, Eliane Pereira dos Santos

PAHO/WHO Representative, Dr. Luis Codina said Guyana is experiencing transformation and research will be needed in many areas. He also noted that the aim is to reintroduce Guyana to the Virtual Health Library.

A section of the participants at the workshop

“We need to introduce this kind of research also because we have, for example, a large group of indigenous people so we need to understand better what is happening with them. We need to go there and do some research about what is happening in these communities, what they think about health, what they think about the future and other aspects …  I think it’s good to have data but I think also, we also have to combine very intense, qualitative research,” Dr. Codina remarked. Chief Librarian at the University of Guyana, Gwyneth George, highlighted the role of the library in the health information system.

Meanwhile, PAHO/WHO Regional Advisor for Knowledge Management, Eliane Pereira dos Santos expressed that they need to see more health research papers from the Caribbean, hence the facilitation of the workshop.