Building community collaboration is essential in research – Dr Majee

Dr Wilson Majee, an Associate Professor, Department of Health Sciences and Public Health, University of Missouri, USA, has underscored the importance of building community collaborations in carrying out effective research.

He said any researcher would need a community in carrying out their research since research was supposed to improve the health of a community.

Dr Majee was delivering a public lecture at the Fred N. Binka School of Public Health, University of Health, and Allied Sciences (UHAS), Hohoe on the topic: 'Faculty success: Developing a research and publication agenda.'

He said researchers must develop the tendency of working with others including collaborators and partners.

He said researchers could also partner or collaborate with each other in grant application and team up for research or community practice, work, or service.

Dr Majee said it was important for researchers to connect their work to relevant current events such as COVID-19 and produce questions that could help conduct a study for publication.

He said the faculty must involve students in their research, do not pass opportunities for book chapters and serve as reviewers, guest editors, editors, or editorial board in their profession to be better connected with others.

Dr Majee also encouraged the faculty to apply for grants if they wanted to undertake good research and identify various sources of grants available to them.

He said they could also come up with innovative ideas for their research and must also participate and be present at conferences in their fields at the university, regional, national, and international levels.

Dr Majee said although community collaboration sometimes comes up with challenges, consistency and determination could lead to understanding and acceptance from the community.

Dr Carolyn Marie Orbann, an Associate Teaching Professor, University of Missouri, USA in her lecture on 'A comparison of the 1918 Flu and COVID-19 in four Missouri counties: Disease

transmission and county characteristics', noted that the global mortality of the Flu was estimated at 50 million and the rate was for all ages and young adults in Missouri.

She said the COVID-19's global mortality was at seven million and it killed older people in Missouri.

Dr Orbann said most COVID-19 deaths occurred in Missouri during the post vaccine development because there was a lot of vaccine resistance.

She said similarities between the two pandemics were social distancing and vaccination was considered as important mitigation strategies, isolated communities, lower socio-economic groups, and institutionalized persons were at higher-than-average risk.

She said other similarities included the worldwide spread, but much variation across space and both pandemics were caused by respiratory viruses with droplet transmission.

Dr Orbann said technological changes including better treatments, faster development of new treatments and faster dissemination of information was a social or behavioral difference between the two pandemics in Missouri, while another difference was the types of important institutions and facilities the two pandemics affected.

Dr Orbann said the 1918 Flu affected orphanages, residential schools, mental health facilities and factories while the Covid-19 affected nursing facilities, factories, and recreational spaces in Missouri.

She noted that lessons learnt were the importance of historical knowledge and knowing potential hotspot since in both pandemics, local institutions played important roles in spreading of virus.

'Most of the interventions we are turning to now were tried in the past. People today are interested and engaged in learning about the 1918 Flu.'

Professor Lydia Aziato, Vice Chancellor, UHAS, said the purpose of the interaction was to initiate a relationship with the University of Missouri and UHAS adding that there was a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two universities that would begin next year where students would come to the universities.

She was hopeful that the relationship would grow beyond seminars and students' exchanges to other research collaborations in the future while the topics would help participants to learn new things.

Professor Paul Amuna, Dean, Fred N. Binka School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), congratulated the two speakers and expressed gratitude to them for their presentations.

He said it was important for one to be passionate about what they do regardless of the weight of support available to them.

Prof Amuna noted that UHAS and the Fred N. Binka School of Public Health had recognized the importance of collaboration and were committed to building bridges with other universities.

Source: Ghana News Agency