Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine director David Lalloo has challenged universities and other research institutions to prioritise research as an important tool towards achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He said this yesterday during the opening of the ongoing two-day 23rd Research Dissemination Conference at the University of Malawi’s College of Medicine (CoM) in Blantyre.
In an interview on the sidelines of the conference, Lalloo said SDGs are multidimensional in nature as they encompass different sectors and hence the need for research to be conducted to understand the linkages and identify relevant solutions.
He said: “The SDGs are designed to improve people’s health, access to health services and reduce poverty; and research is important in understanding how we can make the biggest impact in improving on those things and making people’s lives better.
“The whole idea of the SDGs is that everything is linked so you cannot just address one problem without thinking about health, water and food, for instance.”
On his part, CoM principal Mwapatsa Mipando said the institution strives to conduct world class research and tries to improve in various areas of research.
He said: “Internationally, we are doing good research but there is still room for improvement and we hope we will get better. What is important is to translate research into policy, translated into practice but also take it back to the communities.”
Meanwhile, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology deputy director of higher education Valentino Zimpita has commended CoM for conducting relevant research.
The conference has attracted about 500 participants from within and outside the country and 26 sessions are expected to be held on various themes including non-communicable diseases, malaria, vaccines, health economics as well as health systems, among others.
This year’s conference is themed Addressing Sustainable Development Goals Through Multidisciplinary Research.