The Ministry of Public Health (MSP), in collaboration with the Dominican Medical Association (CMD) and with the support of the Pan American Health Organization (WHO), celebrated the National Health Research Award, with the recognition of the ten best research projects that were carried out within the framework of last year’s 2022 call for proposals.
Some 57 research projects applied for the award, of which 20 were approved to present their results during the awards ceremony, and the 10 projects that received the highest scores by a peer review system composed of jurors from the Ministry of Public Health, the Dominican Medical Association and the Pan American Health Organization received awards.
The awards ceremony was attended by the Minister of Public Health, Dr. Daniel Rivera, the outgoing president of the CMD, Dr. Senén Caba, the Vice-Minister of Collective Health, Dr. Eladio Pérez; Magister Alba María Ropero, representative of PAHO/WHO, and Dr. Nelson Martínez, Director of Research of the Vice-Ministry for the Strengthening and Development of the Health Sector.
Dr. Rivera congratulated the participants of the National Health Research Award, especially the winners, and encouraged them to continue researching so that, with their results, decisions can be made and health policies based on scientific evidence can be developed.
He said that thanks to health research, indexes and results are obtained that are transformed into the wellbeing of patients through prevention, which is why research cannot be stopped and medicine must continue to grow in order to continue discovering great benefits for this branch.
He indicated that research is an imperative need to address today’s challenges and to strengthen the capacity to respond to future eventualities. Without the implementation of scientific research, it is difficult to achieve the goal of improving the quality of life of the population. Therefore, it is necessary for countries to have a priority-based research system.
“It has been shown that public hospitals that publish scientific articles are more effective, since they make better diagnoses and pharmacological and surgical treatments. Likewise, they have a lower mortality rate and contribute to reducing healthcare spending by approximately 1%,” he said.
For his part, Dr. Senén Caba said that the Dominican Republic is not exactly the country that does the most research in Latin America, which is why he urged young medical professionals to continue researching, regardless of the adversities they face, to do great and good work in favor of medicine, while at the same time he valued the effort and initiative of Dr. Daniel Rivera to make the awards for health research an achievement.
Meanwhile, the WHO/PAHO representative in the country, Alba María Ropero, welcomed the initiative of the MSP and the CMD for promoting the award. She said that research plays a fundamental role in strengthening performance evaluation and improvement of the health system.
The winning research projects were related to the topics of childhood vaccination status, risk of adolescent pregnancy, bone mineral health, breast cancer, thoracoabdominal trauma in polytraumatized patients, heart failure, cervical cancer, human papillomavirus, hyperbilirubinemia and diabetes mellitus.
The activity was also attended by Dr. Eddy Perez Then, advisor to the Ministry of Health. Eddy Pérez Then, advisor to the Ministry of Public Health; Dr. Francisca Moronta, secretary general of the Dominican Medical Association; the directors and departmental managers of the MSP; members of the Dominican Medical Association and WHO advisors. The winners received a cash prize of 100,000 pesos plus a certificate.
At the end of the event, the first call for articles to be published in the Revista Dominicana de Salud Pública, an open access virtual publication promoted by the collective efforts of the Ministry, was launched. The journal’s vision is to be a reference in the dissemination of scientific production in the field of public health and related areas, with the aim of fostering the transmission of knowledge and exchange of ideas that promote the development of public health, ultimately improving the quality of life and health equity for our population.