healthThirteen health professionals from eight Pacific Island countries and territories are in Fiji for the third and final module of the Pacific Course on Operational Research.

The training which starts in Nadi today, is jointly organised by the Pacific Community (SPC) and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union).

The main objective of this seven-day training module is to help participants perform an analysis and interpretation of their research results and turn these into a scientific paper for submission to a national or international peer reviewed journal for publication.

“The first module was held in Nadi in August last year and focused on providing a thorough understanding of operational research allowing participants to develop their research protocols. The second module, conducted later in November, facilitated a better understanding of the importance of quality data leading towards skills development on data analysis,” SPC Acting Team Leader of Surveillance and Operational Research, Onofre Edwin Merilles Jr. explained.

“However, while researchers do a lot of good work in the field developing a study protocol as well as collecting and analysing data, some find it quite challenging when it comes to writing the results. The third module will remove some of the myths surrounding scientific writing,” Mr Edwin Merilles Jr. said.

The training exercise will enable participating health professionals to turn their research results into tangible conclusions that can influence policy and lead to improvements in health practices.

Each participant receives personalised mentorship and support throughout the course, including between training modules.

This is the second Operational Research course organised in the Pacific by SPC and The Union.

Nine of the 12 health professionals that participated in the first course between 2012 and 2013 had their research findings published in the Public Health Action Journal.

The 13 participants in the second Operational Research course are from American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Palau, Samoa and Vanuatu.

The training concludes on 12 August.

Media contact:
Onofre Edwin Merilles Jr., SPC Acting Team Leader of Surveillance and Operational Research, [email protected] or + 687 (26 20 00) Ext: 31462
Lauren Robinson, SPC Media Relations, [email protected] or +679 337 9250

Useful link:
Published research papers by Operational Research Course (2012-2013) participants can be found in the Public Health Action online Journal, June 2014