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Officials call for more knowledge-based health policies

Health officials and medical staff working in the field of health policy have been urged to do more to incorporate new knowledge in health policy under the leadership of coordinators.
This would foster the use of health research findings for evidence-based decision making and policy advice.

Knowledge-based health policies can improve public health by guiding stakeholders through closer communication with health researchers to make use of carefully researched health policy briefs and guidelines
This type of health policy often focuses on the use of existing knowledge and recommendations for future health policy development.
A meeting to discuss the topic took place yesterday when participants reported on the progress of their activities and shared future plans, including their successes in past years.
Health research information includes material about the dangers of smoking in the hope of preventing and reducing the number of deaths from smoking-related illnesses.
Also under consideration are the results of a survey on equality and girls’ health in Bokeo province and other studies in relation to health policy.
Director of the Lao Tropical and Public Health Institute, Dr Sengchanh Kounnavong, addressed the meeting on knowledge translation in health policy development in Laos.
She said the meeting had identified major gaps in health policy implementation, including limited contact between researchers and decision makers, and policy implementers, as well as access to health research information and evidence-based decision making and policy advice.
Participants recognised the importance of the material presented, not just that relating to government departments conducting research, but also international research agencies and development partners, Dr Sengchanh said.
The Lao Tropical and Public Health Institute will lead the way and identify focal points within Ministry of Health departments. They will join with their development partners in supporting the institute to implement the activities outlined in the proposed strategy, she added.
The workshop brought together decision makers, policymakers, researchers and programming staff from the health sector to discuss the strategy, which involves adding links to the uploaded text in English and Lao.
The Lao Tropical and Public Health Institute was created out of the merger of the National Institute of Public Health and the Francophone Institute for Tropical Medicine in December 2017.
The institute has a mandate from the government to provide policy makers and implementers with advice and support on specific public health research questions, as well as generating tools, methods, and information needed to make decision making more evidence-based.

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseutth
(Latest Update May 22, 2019)

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