A global health expert has said people need to change their mindset about research being a luxury as the country battles with Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr John Amuasi rather wants people to view it as an integral part of the fight against COVID-19 because it informs direct national policy.

Speaking on the Super Morning Show, he said that the country “has more than it takes to be able to do research which will inform our direct national policy.”

“Right from our FDA through to our research institutions across the country we have people who have operated at the very highest levels and you will recognise even the head of the COVID-19 task force, Dr Asamoa-Baah is the former second in command for the whole WHO which is certainly a clear evidence of the kind of quality we have in this country,” he added.

The senior researcher at the KCCR acknowledged that while there may be no current support for research or access to research, the pandemic presents the perfect opportunity to find ways to focus on research because Ghana is trying to fight against COVID-19, a disease that still is new.

“It is not easy to start doing research because you’re in a pandemic situation and there is certainly a need for clinical care to be given.

“You come out with research and people think this is not the time for research. But really we are in a situation where we need to learn as we go.”

“We need to move away from this idea that research is a luxury and begin to see this as an integral part of the fight,” he said.

He added, “If you do not do it in the heat of the moment you lose the opportunity to gather very very critical evidence on the way the virus is behaving, the epidemiology of the virus, and the important medical aspects of things. 

Dr Amuasi stressed that research leads to breakthroughs; people are able to understand the disease, make decisions and ultimately save lives. 

He, therefore, appealed to stakeholders to invest in research support.

“Research is expensive, it takes time but it also gives resolve; even if it doesn’t give tangible results in terms of number of people surviving etc, at least it gives you confidence in what you’re doing because you’ve tested it and it works,” he said.