By Najib Mulema

Tuberculosis Working to Empower the Nations Diagnostic Effort (TWENDE) consortium has today kick started a  training for researchers  to teach them how they can favorably translate knowledge on paper  into policy, practice and commercial products.

Speaking at the official opening of the workshop at Mulago Hospital Guest House in Kampala, Dr. Wilber Sabiiti, the TWENDE consortium chairperson said the three day workshop is aimed at engaging researchers, hospital administrators and clinicians on how they can simplify their innovative findings into a language easily understandable by the general public.

Dr. Wilber Sabiiti

“We have 25 trainees and we are going to equip them with skills of translating skills into policies and practice. For long many researchers have been having their knowledge on paper but with this training, they will be able to commercialize their products which will help to improve the welfare of the people,” said Dr. Sabiiti.

“It is not enough to just research and then end it there because the findings are useful when they are translated into products that can be accessed by the wider society,” he added.

Dr. Sabiiti revealed that they have come up with such training because researchers have failed to eliminate some diseases since they mainly focus on medical interventions and ignore other important aspects that influence the diseases citing an example of tuberculosis which he said is a disease for the poor, “If someone is poor he will not afford the medicine, they will not come for diagnosis, they will not have the transport to travel from Karamoja or from Kanungu to Kampala to get diagnosed or treated”

Meanwhile, Mr Ewan Chirnside, the Director of knowledge transfer office at University of St. Andrews in Scotland also one of the trainers at the workshop pinpointed lack of funds and ignorance among policy makers who don’t know the value of research among others as some of the barriers to efficient research thus urging donors to come out and support researchers to accomplish their works.

Mr Ewan Chirnside

TWENDE is funded by the European Union through the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP).

It aims at identifying and addressing bottlenecks that impede implementation of proper diagnostic technologies in the Health Care systems of the three East African countries (Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania).  It comprises of  Makerere University, the East African Health Research Commission, the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute (Tanzania), Mbeya Medical Research Center (Tanzania), and Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kenya).