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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 104, Issue 5, pp e427–e432 | Cite as

Increasing Chronic Disease Research Capacity in Guatemala Through a Mentoring Program

  • Joaquin BarnoyaEmail author
  • Jose C. Monzon
  • Graham A. Colditz
Public Health Intervention
  • 2 Downloads

Abstract

Objective

The Chronic Disease Research Fellowship Program (RFP) aims to build the research capacity of recent medical graduates to support the development of chronic disease control strategies.

Setting

Guatemala is undergoing an epidemiologic transition. However, given the way universities and the health care system are structured, it lacks an environment that fosters research careers and generates the required knowledge to implement sound public health policies and clinical strategies. The RFP was implemented at the Cardiovascular Unit of Guatemala.

Intervention

This 4-year Program recruited two one-year fellows and provided funding to define a research topic, write a protocol and implement the research. Strong emphasis is placed on developing skills in knowledge translation and exchange to bridge the “know-do” gap. Close mentoring relationships between the Principal Investigator and former and current fellows are fostered through the Program.

Outcomes

The mentoring Program has generated strategic data to support the implementation of sound chronic disease control strategies, mainly related to tobacco control. Results have been presented nationally and internationally. Research training has included principles of biostatistics and epidemiology, and a journal club. The Program is increasingly generating interest among medical graduates to pursue further research training abroad and is building local research capacity. Fellows and research assistants have created a research network in Guatemala and abroad. The main obstacle the Program faces is ensuring long-term sustainability.

Conclusions

A mentoring program can lead to an increase in research interest and capacity in a low-income country with little research infrastructure.

Key Words

Developing countries chronic disease capacity building 

Résumé

Objectif

Le programme des Bourses de recherche sur la lutte contre les maladies chroniques (Guatemala) vise à accroître la capacité de recherche des récents diplômés en médecine pour appuyer l’élaboration de stratégies de lutte contre les maladies chroniques.

Lieu

Le Guatemala est en transition sur le plan épidémiologique. Toutefois, étant donné la façon dont les universités et le système de soins de santé sont structurés, il manque au pays un milieu qui favorise les carrières en recherche et qui génère les connaissances requises pour mettre en œuvre des politiques de santé publique et des stratégies cliniques rationnelles. Le programme de bourses de recherche a été instauré à l’Unité cardiovasculaire de Guatemala.

Intervention

Ce programme de quatre ans a recruté deux boursiers pendant un an chacun et leur a fourni du financement pour définir un sujet de recherche, rédiger un protocole et mettre la recherche en œuvre. Le programme insiste beaucoup sur le développement de compétences en application et en échange des connaissances pour combler le fossé entre le „ savoir ” et le „ faire ”. Il favorise des liens de mentorat étroits entre le directeur des recherches et les boursiers passés et présents.

Résultats

Le programme de mentorat a généré des données stratégiques à l’appui de la mise en œuvre de stratégies rationnelles de lutte contre les maladies chroniques, principalement axées sur la lutte antitabac. Les résultats de recherche sont présentés au pays et à l’étranger. La formation en recherche porte sur les principes de biostatistique et d’épidémiologie et inclut un club de revue d’articles. Le programme incite de plus en plus de diplômés en médecine à pousser leur formation en recherche à l’étranger, et il est en train de créer une capacité de recherche locale. Les boursiers et les adjoints à la recherche ont créé un réseau de chercheurs au Guatemala et à l’étranger. Le principal obstacle est d’assurer la viabilité à long terme du programme.

Conclusions

Un programme de bourses construit sur des bases de mentorat peut mener à une augmentation de l’intérêt pour la recherche et de la capacité de recherche dans un pays à faible revenu possédant peu d’infrastructures de recherche.

Mots Clés

pays en développement maladie chronique renforcement des capacités 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joaquin Barnoya
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jose C. Monzon
    • 1
  • Graham A. Colditz
    • 2
  1. 1.Research DepartmentCardiovascular Unit of Guatemala (UNICAR)Guatemala CityGuatemala
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, Division of Public Health SciencesWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisCanada

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