Bangladesh Health Watch organized a Webinar on June 30, 2021 at 11.00 am to lauch “ Research Repository” moderated by Dr. Yasmin H Ahmed, Advisor , BHW and Professor Vincent Chang, VC of Brac University was the Chief Guest at the webinar.
The repository currently house 354 pieces of research; more will be added as more research work is undertaken and published. The Repository is housed within the website of Bangladesh Health Watch and can be accessed through this link: https://r.bangladeshhealthwatch.org/.
The webinar was moderated by Dr. Yasmin H Ahmed, Advisor, BHW and the especial guests were:
Manik Mahmud, Head of Social Innovation and Operation Cluster, A2i, ICT Division,
Dr. Sabina Faiz Rashid, Dean and Professor, BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health
Dr. Rounaq Jahan, Distinguished Fellow of Centre for Policy Dialogue and Chair of the Advisory Group of BHW
At the onset, the moderator welcomed the participants and gave a short brief of the program.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a large volume of research has been conducted in Bangladesh by researchers both at home and abroad. These have substantially helped us understand various dimensions of the pandemic, its impact on health and society, and a way out. However, this knowledge is scattered all over the place, and therefore, hard to find.
Bangladesh Health Watch, a multi-stakeholder civil society initiative dedicated to improving the health systems in Bangladesh through an evidence-based critical review of policies and programs, has initiated a repository of COVID-19 research to bring all the public health research conducted on COVID-19 in the Bangladesh context under one umbrella. BHW has officially launched the repository virtually on June 30, 2021. The Repository will be enhanced and updated on an ongoing basis.
The repository currently house 354 pieces of research; more will be added as more research work is undertaken and published. The research topics range from examining the practice of infection prevention policies and guidelines, association of coronavirus mortality with demographics, testing, lockdowns, public wearing of masks, link between obesity and death from COVID-19, fear and stigma associated with the disease, mental health, an so on. The Repository is housed within the website of Bnagladesh Health Watch and can be accessed through this link: https://r.bangladeshhealthwatch.org/.
Prof Vincent Change, Vice Chancellor of BRAC University was the Chief Guest at the launch. Mr. Manik Mahmud, Head of Social Innovation and Operation Cluster, A2i, ICT Division,
Government of Bangladesh, said: “Volunteers have better access to people. They can reach out to commoners with key messages extracted from the research articles. This repository will be a great hub of knowledge for them.”
Dr. Sabina Faiz Rashid, Dean and Professor, BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health, said, “We have to create a research culture in this country. Researchers struggle with literature review. This repository will make their work easier. We need to engage young students and researchers with this kind of initiative so that they develop interest in research.”
Dr. Rounaq Jahan, Distinguished Fellow of Centre for Policy Dialogue and Chair of the Advisory Group of BHW, said, “Finding the relevant literature while undertaking a research is a difficult task. This repository will make this task easier. She also put emphasis on peer review of publications which boosts credibility. She further said the country lacks scientific and medical research and encouraged undertaking more and more scientific and medical research.”
Prof. Vincent Chang, Vice Chancellor of BRAC University, said, “The repository will open more research opportunities. Research is not only important for the career of an academic. Research is also important for the country’s economic growth. Research is important for knowledge economy. Bangladesh needs a big push for research. This repository will be helpful as a small push and it will have a huge impact.”
The participants of the launching event greatly appreciated the efforts of Bangladesh Health Watch to develop the Repository which will make it easier for those interested to learn about different aspects of COVID-19 pandemic by bringing all related public health research under one roof. This initiative will help to foster collaboration among scientists/researchers and will provide a platform to young researchers to publish their work and encourage the practice of peer review. About 63 eminent researchers, academicians, intellectuals, journalists and news media representatives attended the event.
Most of the articles were curated following both the conventional and scientifical methods. Published articles were collected from PubMed, Scopus, LitCovid (PubMed) database and also via email from individuals. The repository currently houses around 350 articles.
The research articles are categorized into three categories:
Research done by BRAC, BRAC University (BRACU) and institutes under BRACU or where one of the authors is from BRAC.
Research done beyond BRAC family but within Bangladesh and authored by a Bangladeshi researcher.
Research done outside Bangladesh but using data from Bangladesh and authored/co-authored by a Bangladeshi researcher.
The repository will be updated every three months. Supplementary articles like editorial, letters to editors, commentary etc. will be uploaded. Filters will be added to make it more user-friendly.
A technical team led by Professor Syed Masud Ahmed, Director of the Centre of Excellence for Health Systems and Universal Health Coverage, BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health and Member of Bangladesh Health Watch’s Advisory Group worked with two associates to successfully develop the Repository.
The promotion partners of the Repository are: A2i, Bloodman and EMK Centre.
Media coverage: The event got media attention. Leading print and electronic media including The Business Standard, Daily Bonik Barta, Dhaka Tribune published report on the event.
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The moderator concluded the event by giving thanks to all for their active participation and valuable comments.