Liberian medical students certificated following research conference
By Lincoln G. Peters
Conference delegates received certificates following a three-day maiden edition of the Liberia Health Education and Research Conference (LHERC) held at the University of Liberia College of Health Sciences (ULCHS), supported by USAID.
The Liberia Medical Students Association (LMSA), with support from the USAID-funded BRIDGE-U: Applying Research for a Healthy Liberia Project, on Wednesday, 7 December 2022 convened the maiden edition of the LHERC.
The conference climaxed Saturday, 9 December 2022 at the University of Liberia’s College of Health Sciences in Congo Town with the certification of delegates.
The Conference aimed to promote an inter-professional approach to contemporize healthcare education through research skills development among these individuals.
The LHERC was a four-day scientific research conference that brought together one hundred emerging health professionals and professionals across Liberia’s health sector.
During the closing program Saturday, LMSA president Patricia Gray proposed to the Government of Liberia and international partners the establishment of Liberia’s research institute at the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine at UL.
According to Ms. Gray, the establishment of the research institute on the campus will enable the country to have accurate data and information about Liberia’s health and medical sector.
She suggested that over the past time, they faced challenges regarding accurate data about research conducted in Liberia.
“During the training, and studies, we have encountered numerous challenges that have to do with research,” said Madam Gray.
She said to find data on research conducted in Liberia is difficult. Due to this challenge, she said they always refer to another country for studies conducted like in Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria.
“If you [go] to other countries, they have research institutes and most [of the] time they say Dogliotti College is free that is why it’s like this.”
“However, if we have [a] research institute and write a good paper, at the end of the day, the school can have a grant to take care of other student needs,’’ Madam Gray explained.
The medical Students president further recommended that if the Government of Liberia and partners can find a reason to establish the Liberia research institute, it will be important for data and research purposes and the institute will also be run on grant purpose.
Motivating the emerging health professionals and graduates, the LMSA president urged the graduates to make use of the knowledge and skills that they have acquired.
She appealed that they should not sit on the knowledge.
“I want to thank our partners ever so much for the support and provision of lecturers. They have done and continued to do well. Lastly, I am urging you [the] graduates because you are our first cohort,” she said.
She challenged the delegates not to limit their knowledge in their homes, saying it should go beyond where they can have a research institute in Liberia.
For their part, the participants expressed happiness and excitement to the LMSA and its partners for the conference and knowledge shared.
I was previleged to have formed part of this insightful and educative scientific research conference organized by the Liberia Medical Students Association.
It was very interesting to have learned from professionals of diverse health backgrounds to share with us major issues which seem to serve as challenges to the health sector of our country-Liberia.
From this conference, I’ve learned that there’s a gap in our health sector, and that is “research”.
There is a need to do lots of research to help improve and strengthen the health sector.
Look at the case with AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance): pathogens like bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites tend to create resistance to many drugs that we take as medication. Why and how they create resistance, is something that we need to know – RESEARCH.
Hope our country can also focus on the health sector by establishing a research center and encourage scientific research.
Thanks to LMSA and sponsors for the initiative.