By Morenike Oluwatoyin Folayan.
Professor Folasade Ogunsola, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development Services, University of Lagos, and one of Nigeria’s leading researchers, has said that funding is not all it takes to be a good researcher.
Ogunsola spoke during the just concluded 5th Nigeria Global Health Trials Conference
which held between January 30 and 31st, at the Sickle Cell Foundation Centre, Idi-Araba, Surulere, Lagos and attracted over 250 participants comprising doctors, medical researchers and scientists from within and outside the country.
During her presentation titled ‘Health research and global health: Potentials and Promises of North-South Collaboration,’ Professor Ogunsola shared her experience concerning how she grew up the ladder to become an equitable partner with her Northern collaborators.
She also highlighted the importance of passion for the work you do, as well as trust being an essential ingredient for sustainable collaboration and partnership.
Professor Ogunsola further reiterated her point by sharing the story of the ninth graders who conducted some research
based on awareness of events happening to them. Their extremely low cost experiment is now drawing the attention of renowned scientists to further explore their findings.
“Research requires you to be conscious about what is happening around you, develop evidence to substantiate your assumptions and looking for solutions applicable to your environment. Without the passion and the eye to address local needs, the funds will often not be put to efficient use,” she noted.
Participants identified the need to ensure subsequent meetings have policy makers attend the meetings. They also get to interact and learn. This was a missing target population at the conference. For future conferences, it was agreed that this should be rectified.
The role of effective communication, need to ensure research results are disseminated beyond the use of journal publication and the role of the media in disseminating research results were also noted.
The conference came to an end with participants feeling extremely motivated to do things differently. Hopefully, new networks, partnerships and collaborations had been formed at the end of the two-day meeting.