The University of Namibia should cultivate and instill a culture of research to enable its students to do research that can benefit their communities. This is according to World Health Organisation (WHO) representative Professor Monirul Islam, who spoke during a Unam stakeholder’s reception at Keetmanshoop on Tuesday.
Speaking on health issues in the country, Islam said it is important to instill a culture of research in the students while in their early years of study, saying the research conducted by young students need not be complicated and expensive, but can be of great importance, as it will help people understand and solve problems affecting them on a daily basis.
He pointed out there is a need for an increase in the scope of research conducted, saying such enquiry need not only be focused on scientific pursuits, but should cover all aspects of life. “How much research are you doing into all sectors? Let’s introduce a sense of research in students. We need to improve research thinking in our students,” he said.
He said many a time there is reluctance to act and people seem comfortable to wait on other people from outside to do the necessary research and find solutions to problems affecting them and there is an urgent need to change this mindset. “Unam has a bigger role to play in the socio-economic development of the country,” he said.
Linking health and education, he stressed that the more people are educated the more likely they are to live better and thus improve their health, saying being healthy is not only about going to the doctor and taking medicine, but is also about socio-economic development.
He further called on all stakeholders to make health issues a priority, saying each and every one should contribute and do their part by exercising and watching what they eat in order to live healthy lives. “Health is not the responsibility of the Ministry of Health, nor the responsibility of doctors. It’s the responsibility of each and every one of us,” he advised.