... UHWI re­search fo­cus widens

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS - Jo­van.john­son@glean­erjm.com

WHEN THE Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal of the West Indies (UHWI) was opened in 1953, much fo­cus was placed on things like trop­i­cal meta­bolic dis­eases, sickle cell and nu­tri­tional dis­eases to re­spond to the health prob­lems of the coun­tries across the re­gion.

Dr Carl Bruce, the UHWI med­i­cal chief of staff, said while that fo­cus re­mains, other in­ter­ests have been added.

“We’re try­ing to get to more in­ter­ven­tion re­search, min­i­mal ac­cess re­search and those types of di­ag­nos­tic re­search. It’s changed be­cause the de­mo­graph­ics have changed, but we’ve also seen a reemer­gence of in­fec­tious dis­ease such as Zika and chikun­gunya, so, again, we have to be dy­namic and we have to be flex­i­ble in re­port­ing those cases.”

UHWI Chair­man James Moss-Solomon em­pha­sised that the hos­pi­tal has been ac­tive in con­duct­ing clin­i­cal tri­als, which, ba­si­cally, are tests done on how drugs or de­vices work.

MULTICENTRE TRI­ALS

Bruce ex­plained that the UHWI par­tic­i­pates in the so-called multicentre tri­als that in­volve thou­sands of pa­tients from many coun­tries and med­i­cal cen­tres across the globe. “Those are tri­als that we want to con­tinue to par­tic­i­pate in.” He added: “There are also lo­cal ques­tions that we have to an­swer and that will give us data as to what’s hap­pen­ing in our re­gional, lo­cal cir­cum­stances. Those don’t nec­es­sar­ily at­tract in­ter­na­tional fund­ing, but we still need to con­tinue to do them.”

Mean­while, ma­tron at the UHWI, Claudett James, noted that the hos­pi­tal has been us­ing more re­search data to guide how nurses work. She said find­ings have in­flu­enced prac­tice guide­lines re­lat­ing to the re­duc­tion of falls in elderly pa­tients, man­age­ment of pres­sure ul­cers, per­son and fam­ily-cen­tred care and pro­fes­sion­al­ism.

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