NISA advises government to increase health policy implementation

GLORIA ESSIEN

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The Nigeria Implementation Science Alliance, NISA, has called on the Federal Government to look beyond formulating policies and work towards implementing them to improve healthcare service delivery in the country.

The call  was made by  the Chairman NISA Board, Prof. Echezona Ezeanolue, at the fifth NISA conference holding in Abuja.
He said that over the years, Nigeria scientists, have been conducting researches that were not being implemented by government.
He noted that the conference has provided a forum for researchers and policy makers to review challenges and opportunities for improving health services.
Professor  Ezeanolue said that the conference has recorded successes in the last five years.
” Our focus is on three things, one, we want to be able to increase participation and engagement in research because we believe that when we have research that know how things work, so we do implementation science. The whole idea of implementation science is that if we can implement what we already know, then we can solve 80% of the world problems. So here in Nigeria, it is not that we don’t know what to do, its about implementation. We also know that we can stop so many different things. Nobody says you are until you say I am,” Ezeanolue said.
He also said that “The flagship program for NISA is the yearly conference on implementation science aimed at improving health by bridging the gap between research and practice.
NISA conference, which began in 2015, is marking it’s fifth year this year with the theme ” Achieving Impact Through Implementation Research”.
Also speaking on the conference, Dr. Patrick Dakum, the Co-chair of the conference, and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Human Virology, said that the conference has been bringing together investigators in science to share their research findings with policy makers and stakeholders.
He noted that the conference also develops recommendations for future research priority areas within the Nigerian context.
Dr. Dakum, also pointed out that through the collaborative activities of NISA, researches such as the recently released National HIV Aids Indicator Survey, NAIIS, was successful.
He noted that NISA has also created opportunities for young investigators to identify mentors.
Dr. Dakum also announced that following the success of the annual conference, there have been representatives from West Africa.
“The unique thing with this year is that we have representatives from West Africa because we are expanding this to West Africa to form what we call CARISA, that is Central Africa and West African Implementation Science Alliance and we are hoping that having been found very useful in five years, other countries are asking us are here to learn lessons also,” Dr. Dakum said.
He added that NISA has helped in shaping the Nigerian health security towards achieving success.
For Dr. John Okpanachi Oko,  a Principal Investigator, the NISA conference has helped him personally in writing and submitting research thesis.
The Director General of the National Agency for the Control of Aids, Dr. Aliyu Gambo Gumel, who was one of the delegates to the conference,.said that it was a good opportunity for exchange of ideas among scientists.
” We look forward to having more of this conference because it brings together people from different groups from across and outside the country. And you look at what is working based on new knowledge that is being generated and you learn from each other and also other people learn from you. This is very good. We look forward to having more of it. I commend the organisers. I’ll want to say that going forward, we will want to see more studies done here in Nigeria and more scientific findings from Nigerian scientists. This is a very good development,”  Dr. Gumel said.
The conference attracted over two hundred local and foreign delegates to advance training and share knowledge.
L.NASIR