The Fiji National University’s (FNU) College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (CMNHS) is embarking on delivering a one of its kind and biggest health research symposium in the country.

 This after the College officially opened registrations for the Pacific Islands Health Research Symposium (PIHRS) 2019 to be held at the Pearl Resort on August 29-30.

 While delivering his address, CMNHS Dean, Dr William May, said: “the PIHRS is a platform where Pacific Health researchers along with staff and students of the College can disseminate their research findings”. 

 “As we all know, knowledge is not stagnant, new knowledge replaces old ones and old practices become outdated sooner than later through new biomedical discoveries. We cannot be left behind.”

 “Our health systems offer unique challenges to overcome with new practices that only ‘we’ can discover through the inquisitive minds of Pacific Health researchers,” Dr May said. 

 The Senior Academic highlighted that the PIHRS encouraged open-mindedness in discussions and debates about research, allowing people to ask difficult questions about research ideas and practices in relation to health and illnesses, and contribute to the design of solutions to inform better health and medical services in the Island Countries. 

 “The Symposium seeks to nurture a distinctive voice of Pacific research and to provide researchers with opportunities for more research at national, regional and international levels.”   

 PIHRS was inaugurated in 2011, becoming an annual event for CMNHS.

 The Chair of the organising committee, Dr Joji Ralovo, said a total of 150 participants were expected to take part in the two-day symposium.

 “This is the biggest (health research symposium) in Fiji and we would like to see that it gets bigger in terms of recognition, attendance from researchers in the Pacific Island Countries, collaborators and partners from other universities in the region.”

 Meanwhile, Associate Dean Research, Dr Donald Wilson, said PIHRS also offered a pathway for sharing of knowledge.

“FNU has continued to embark on efforts and strategies to strengthen the research capacity and profile of its academic staff and students at all the Colleges,” Dr Wilson said.

 “Research is becoming increasingly important aspect of CMNHS and events such as the PIHRS are encouraging our staff and students to engage in research and present their findings in a larger forum.” 

 According to Dr Wilson, the presentations could also provide critical analysis, and open up new spaces for further research that could impact aspects of health care and health services delivery.

 “This PIHRS brings you unique experiences with the speeches from renowned speakers, best presentations, roundtable discussions, networking opportunities and many more.”

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