By CHIOMA OBINNA
NIGERIAN researchers have voted to pursue the ideals of translational research for the benefit of patients in the country. Expressing this desire to strengthen medical research capacity during the 3rd International Scientific Conference of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, NIMR, Yaba, Lagos, with the theme: “Strengthening Health Research Capacity in Africa: The Challenges”.they stressed that focusing on translational research would provide appropriate drugs, treatment and ensure better patient outcomes.
In a lecture entitled; “Health Research: From the Bench to the Bedside”, the Guest Lecturer and former Provost, College of Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University, Prof. Taiwo Adewole, argued that activities in the laboratories should be targeted at addressing the needs of patients to ensure better outcomes.
“What we mean by the bedside is anything that relates to handling patients, anything that relate to taking care of patients. Whatever we are doing in the laboratory must be such that has the interest of patients. And that is what translational research is all about”
Adewole, a former Head of Division of Clinical Sciences, NIMR, opined that the time had come for researchers to prioritise the patient in order to make their findings more useful as well as provide solution at the bedside.
He charged the Federal Government to saddle NIMR with the responsibility of formulating a policy on translational research in collaboration with the universities.
On his part, the Director-General of NIMR, Professor Innocent Ujah, who stressed health research encompasses research capacity at the levels of individuals, research groups, institutions and nations, noted that health research was key to achieving the goals of improving economic development and reducing poverty.
Ujah said some researchers do not even know that research proposal must go through ethical clearance, a very important component of any research proposal. He posited that research proposals from Africa are unable to compete effectively with colleagues from developed countries because they are usually defective in content, budget and justifications.