First of all, I’d like to extend greetings with a warm wish to all guests attending today’s “Golden Jubilee Myanmar Health Research Congress” to be in good mental and physical health.
The Myanmar Health Research Congress is held on a yearly basis, aimed at keeping abreast of global countries in conducting the health research measures of Myanmar. Now is the 50th time. The congress which started in 1965 was not held in some years. So, its golden jubilee conference falls this year.
I know as the congress is organized during the period of outbreak of COVID-19, relevant departments under the Ministry of Health divide the duties and functions for successfully holding the virtual congress in systematic arrangements through the formation of a working committee and subcommittees.
The evidence-based research findings are sure to contribute much to the adoption of proper health policies in conformity with the era and system of the nation, more benefiting the health process and creation of the universal health coverage of Myanmar.
As Myanmar’s life expectancy is about 67.42 years which is lower than that of regional countries. It is necessary to expose the root cause of the low life expectancy based on the research works and to emerge the national level health policies in conformity with the era and system of the country.
It is necessary to expose the strong and weak points of the health care services for ensuring the emergence of a better health system in order to contribute to the ministry and the State. Greater efforts must be expedited for regularly releasing the data related to the health research congresses, research paper-reading sessions and research findings to the people.
Cooperation must be made with the international community in conducting the research on infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and non-infectious chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer.
Especially, it is necessary to disseminate findings of applied health research to the people in various ways and means for having basic health conditions and healthy longevity.
Those from medical and related universities under the Ministry of Health, hospitals, disease control projects and basic health staff are to join hands in conducting the health research works in cooperation with relevant ministries, UN agencies and NGOs and INGOs if necessary. Especially, emphasis must be placed on beefing up the research capacity of those from medical and related universities.
They need to cooperate with veteran traditional medicine practitioners and those from Traditional Medicine Department to secure firm research results in order to benefit the people through applied traditional medicines and to help penetration of Myanmar’s traditional medical science and traditional medicines into the international community.
The Senior General said he knew progress in research works to take preventive and treatment measures against COVID-19 with the use of traditional medicines. If the firm and exact data come out from the research works, treatment using traditional medicines can be given to the COVID-19 patients, bringing many benefits to the people. Researchers who draw the evidence-based policymaking and health projects depending on the firm and correct results of research need to comprehensively understand the importance of the research results and strictly abide by the research ethics. Hence, they have to continuously study research ethics. They have to turn out the youths and scholars wishing to do research works or carry out the tasks based on research results in the country.
Efforts were made by the Medical Research Department to study the whole genetic programme of the COVID-19 virus since its arrival in Myanmar on 23 March 2020. So, their mission has already been accomplished. Moreover, they could continuously monitor and put records on different steps of the genetic progress of the COVID-19 virus. Now, experts are striving for exposing more data related to the Omicron variant, the latest virus of COVID-19.
As a gesture of honouring the golden jubilee term, the Myanmar Health Research Registry online website was established, and more than 10,000 items of health research works were recorded. As part of the results of the efforts of health researchers from the Ministry of Health based on cooperation with the international community, the Department of Medical Research was recognized as the WHO Collaborating Centre by the World Health Organization in 2003.
Moreover, the Department of Medical Research cooperated with Korea to produce Hepatitis (B) vaccine at home. And, technologies were transferred to the Ministry of Industry. Since 1996, the Ministry of Industry has been manufacturing Hepatitis (B) vaccine. I know that the department cooperates with the international community in researching the production of quality anti-snake venom.
I know the congress theme is Response to COVID-19 in Myanmar: Reflections after the Third Wave. Such a theme was chosen for highlighting the importance of cooperation with might and main for the people in individuals in taking preventive and control measures of the COVID-19 based on the experiences of success in harmonious cooperation between the State and the people.
In conclusion, the research culture of youths must be nurtured by holding the research congress. It is necessary to adopt the short- and long-term plans to do health research works benefiting the State and the people. The international level research works are to have risen, and results from research must be recorded in a systematic way to uplift the health research level of the State by publishing internationally recognized journals and publications.
Likewise, the applied research works on medical services and health management/ administration must be raised for the people to conveniently and safely receive qualified medical treatment.
As doing research aims to take good results, all stakeholders related to the health sector are to join hands with a concept that they all are doing for the State, in efforts to promote the national health sector of Myanmar based on the findings of the research works.
Our government will especially encourage the research works as the research and development are interrelated. I’d like to conclude my speech with a wish for the emergence of sound foundations from the current congress to enable all the people to enjoy the fruits of reachable qualified healthcare service system in order to raise the life expectancy of our country and to enhance the standard of health care services in the country. Thank you all.