How can Cochrane reviews impact or communicate to relevant users? The rigourous methodology employed in preparing Cochrane reviews will not be of any use if the information does not reach or impact relevant users. In today’s plenary session various speakers including our own Professor Jimmy Volmink discussed how Cochrane reviews can better impact health policy makers, educators, health care professionals and patients. To impact policy or health system managers for example, a call was made to prepare more reviews on health system issues and those that are relevant to current policy needs.
Evidenced based health care has witnessed significant strides in Low and Middle Income countries (LMICs) but there is still a lot of work to be done. This was the take home message from the special session held today about boosting the production of evidence from LMICs. For instance, though there is an upward trend in the number of Cochrane review authors from the African region, more awareness and capacity buliding is needed.
This year’s colloquium also marked the first meeting of the The African Cochrane network. This meeting was attended by African authors from East, West and Southern Africa. Strategies were discussed on how the production of Cochrane reviews can be increased in the African region including Northern and Central Africa; areas that are not yet active in preparing reviews.
Finally, one of our researchers, Dr. Charles Okwundu received ” The Kenneth Warren Prize” for work on his Cochrane review ” Antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for preventing HIV in high-risk individuals”. This prize is awarded annually to a primary author who is a national living in a developing country, of a review judged to be both of high methodological quality and relevant to health problems in poor countries. Congratulations Charles!!