HEALTH minister Joseph Kasonde has called for more health research to reduce the disease burden in Zambia and improve the well being of patients.
Dr Kasonde said health research was critical as it contributed to the economy through the well being of the patients and communities.
He said the country was under pressure to reduce the disease burden, improve the health status of all, as well as, accelerate the attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“One of the initiative that could assist in attaining the ministry’s targets is getting involved in quality research, as it is the key to innovation and consequently growth,” ” Dr Kasonde said
Dr Kasonde said this in a speech read on his behalf by Ministry of Health Principal Pharmacist for Logistic and Management Luke Alutuli during the official opening of the second annual Pharmacy Research conference organised by Ministry of Health in collaboration with Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) held at Cresta Golf View Hotel.
He said research in area of infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS, could translate into useful results to improve management of patients.
Dr Kasonde said it was through research that revealed some of the most cardinal aspects of HIV management such as adherence to medication and prevention of resistance or management of resistance cases.
He was happy that local pharmacists were now embracing the challenges of research.
He encouraged more pharmacists to rise to the challenges of creating breakthrough and discovering new evidence that would positively impact on the practice and improve patient outcomes.
CIDRZ executive director Charles Holmes said at the same function that though a number of key advances in healthcare and health in Zambia had been made, the country still faced many major public health challenges which required sound research evidence to find cost effective, sustainable and deliverable solutions.
Mr Holmes said one of the greatest priorities for his organisation was to build the capacity of local junior investigators for them to grow and become independent researchers.