My name is Samba Cor Sarr; I am a Research Manager with the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Senegal. My first engagement with the Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED) dates back to 2002. I had just finished my graduate studies in Canada and was now back in Senegal at the Ministry. This was at a time when we were trying to develop our national health research strategy and to develop our profile in the area of health research.
As a result of discussions between MOH and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva – it was recommended that I contact International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) and partners in the field of health research. COHRED came highly recommended and it was one of the first organisations that I reached out to.
I Remember that during this period, COHRED’s focus was still primarily on supporting and promoting Essential National Health Research (ENHR) as a comprehensive strategy for organising and managing national health research. In Senegal, we were still grappling with this issue of developing a strategy and implementing it. And so, we had quite a few questions for COHRED: ‘How can we improve NHR in our country’? ‘What should we focus on in our strategy’? And ‘What do we need to have in place’?
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