DHA holds workshop on importance of evidence based data.

Dubai, 4th Nov. 2009: The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is conducting a workshop to encourage healthcare practitioners and policy makers to use evidence based medicine and nursing in their field of work.

cochrance-dubaiThe two-day workshop, that began today, is organised by the DHA, the Bahrain branch of the UK Cochrane Centre and Reyada Training and Management Consultancy, Dubai, UAE.

The hands-on workshop – Cochrane Collaboration and Systematic Review- highlights the work of the Cochrane collaboration, which is an independent international not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing accurate information about the effects of healthcare intervention and drugs.

It studies the effects of the healthcare interventions that are introduced the world over and thus helps disseminate highly credible information about the useful or even the harmful effects of any intervention.

Dr Khalil Qayed, Director of Medical Education at the DHA, said, “At the DHA, we would like to disseminate the culture of evidence based medicine and evidence based nursing. We would like to encourage our healthcare practitioners not only to make use of the information available in the Cochrane library but also encourage them to become reviewers.” Presently the Cochrane collaboration has over 15,000 dedicated personnel who actively contribute to the library, many of them are researchers.

“The Cochrane library is one best single source in the world for it is an independent organisation and does not receive any funding from any pharmaceutical company and thus provides unbiased evidence based information,” said Dr Zbys Fedorowicz, Director of the Bahrain Branch of the UK based Cochrane Centre, who is on the board of directors and the steering group of the Cochrane Collaboration.

The Cochrane collaboration basically studies the effects of any intervention, drugs, surgical procedures and diagnostics tests. It provides systematic reviews for over 52 different specialties.

The topics of the reviews range from genetic and heart diseases, cancer, fertility and even healthcare research priority setting in lower/middle income countries.

Dr Fedorowicz said, “The Cochrane researchers actively generate evidence and the evidence is used by policy makers, consumers and clinicians. The research is at an international level and then we can further analyse it to make it relevant to a particular region.” There are ten Cochrane centres in the world, the largest being in UK, and its only branch is in Bahrain. “The branch is the only one in the Middle-East. We are now looking at expanding to other places in the region such as Dubai, said Dr Fedorowicz.

Mr Basheet Beshtawy, Head of Medical Libraries Section at the DHA said, “The internet provides a vast amount of information but the challenge is sifting out-of-date and irrelevant information is time-consuming and difficult. Therefore, this library is important for it provides extremely useful and reliable evidence based medical literature from around the world and this can be used by clinicians, researchers, patients and policy-makers.” Dr Mohammed Nasaif, Head of Professional Development Centre said, “Access to reliable information is not an easy task but it is researchers such as the one’s associated with the Cochrane Collaboration who make it possible for us to review high quality healthcare data and therefore we would like to encourage our healthcare professionals to make us of this opportunity.” WAM/TF