Changing role of knowledge for development

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a conference on the topic of Changing role of knowledge for development: implications for higher education and research institutions at MUNDO of the University of Maastricht. I particualrly enjoyed the contribution of one of the speakers, Dan Ncayiyana who was emphasizng the relevance of knowledge.

To get some idea of the conference, you can see short videos of Dan Ncayiyana, Louk Box and me in which we comment on the conference.

Dan Ncayiyana is the editor of the South African Medical Journal and Vice-Preisdent at the University of Cape Town . When I was ‘googling’ him – wanting his e-mail address because I wanted to ask him for a copy of his presentation – I came accrosss a few of the other things he has done.

For example, he has written an article with Neil Pakenham-Walsh, known to many of us, and others Can we achieve health information for all by 2015? which appeared in the The Lancet in 2004. The article proposes that WHO takes the lead in championing the goal of ‘Universal access to essential health-care information by 2015’ or ‘Health Information for All’. Strategies for achieving universal access include funding for research into barriers to use of information, evaluation and replication of successful initiatives, support for interdisciplinary networks, information cycles, and communities of practice, and the formation of national policies on health information.

Also came accross a post on a blog about a South African study which demonstrated that good nutrition can’t replace HIV/AIDS drugs. The detailed report by a 15-member consensus panel, incldung Dan Ncayiyana, of the prestigious Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) has been given to government:

The panel has concluded that no food, no component made from food, and no food supplement has been identified in any credible study as an effective alternative to appropriate medication.

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