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The Institute of Global Health Equity Research (IGHER) which is part of the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) was officially launched on September 16, with an ambition to become the epicenter of the creation and dissemination of global knowledge focused on the eradication of global health inequities.
IGHER which began in March 2020, is UGHE’s research institute which is expected to contribute to the university’s mission through high-quality research and research training to ideally equip researchers to identify and solve problems related to health inequity.
Funded by the Andrew & Bonnie Weiss CRI Foundation, and through support from various partners, the IGHER focuses on the development of collaborative, pioneering global health research, as well as the development and delivery of innovative and engaging research training for global health researchers and health professionals.
The hybrid launch event for the research institute was attended by several African and International researchers, government officials, UGHE partners, and supporters, research scholars from various universities and research centers, UGHE faculty, staff, and students.
According to Prof. Cristina Stefan, Director of IGHER, and Andrew Weiss Chair of Research in Global Health at UGHE, global health is about creating safer environments and fair societies as well as understanding the right to health and thus IGHER is about science and research as well as using it for societal change and transformation.
Stefan also explained that the research institute will foster collaboration and partnerships among researchers by bringing together the best scientists in Africa and linking them with the best in the world to focus on some of the most critical problems to be able to produce the evidence needed for transformation and change.
She added: “Our institute is advancing well on the mission of training and forming the next generation of researchers and scientists, women researchers and scientists and health leaders who will stand on our shoulders and see a broader horizon for all.”
Prof. Agnes Binagwaho, the Vice Chancellor of UGHE said that research and innovation is one of the key strategic pillars of the university to harness the opportunities to reimage healthcare and healthcare delivery.
“UGHE has triggered a vibrant intellectual climate that has motivated its faculty, staff, and students to undertake relevant cutting-edge research. The IGHER will lead this effort to deliver high-quality evidence-based research that will inform and challenge policy to provide the foundation for persuasive inspiring and game-changing advocacy,” she added.
Binagwaho also highlighted the existing gap in resource allocation for continuous research support mechanisms for early career researchers in Africa.
“It is without a doubt that there is a need for building the capacity of researchers, clinicians as well as policymakers, and IGHER has started this journey. By having such an institute in Africa, IGHER will help attract and increase funds in research, research training, and collaboration,” she added.
UGHE’s research institute has embarked on a journey to become Africa’s leading Institute of Global Health Equity Research, recognized worldwide for its innovative approach, impact, inclusivity, and togetherness.
Tumani Corrah, Founder and President of Africa Research Excellence Fund gave a presentation on enhancing Health Research Capacity Strengthening in Africa for Africa where he showed that a lot needs to be done and that IGHER is playing a role in bridging the gap.
“I am so proud that institutions like IGHER are vesting an interest to address the situation in which every African nation should be engaged. If you do not do your research, all you can do is wait for research findings and then try to adapt those research findings to your communities and that may not always work,” he said.
Dr. Patrick Ndimubanzi, Executive Director of the Human Resource for Health Secretariat, said: “This initiative and the effort that went into setting up and launching the program research and innovation are essential for healthy development goals globally and especially in Africa as they serve to unlock challenges faced and bring about solutions that adequately respond to their identified needs.”