Research essential

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Barbados continues to bank on its people as its most valuable resource – a position that is reinforced by the heavy investment made by the State in the areas of education and health care. It is a natural synergy; after all, why invest millions in equipping a workforce with skills that are unable to be optimally implemented due to low productivity stemming from ill health? And of course, with health care being largely State-funded, the more that can be done to reduce avoidable illnesses, the better. The progress that has been made thus far in promoting lifestyle changes and reducing the incidence of chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs) was made possible by a very essential factor – research.
Barbados has reaped the benefits of having early research intervention in the areas of chronic as well as eye diseases. It can be a long process from gathering information, to interpreting that data and using it to effectively inform policy decisions and programme design. Certainly, when conducting research, there needs to be enough data gathered over a long enough period of time to identify patterns or trends. Therefore, the earlier research begins, the better.

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