Communicating health research (50) Q2. What are the different approaches? (8)

19 September, 2022

Neil thank you for sharing the question: 'The central question in our discussion is: What are the most impactful methods for researchers to communicate their research to policymakers so that the research is seen and applied?'

On seeing the shocking findings of the failing Health system in Cross River State, Nigeria in 2004, from the comprehensive situation analysis conducted by the State Ministry of Health (SMOH), especially the findings that previous policies did not seem to factor in measures to address the social determinants of health: such as poverty, ignorance and superstition that exacerbated existing heavy disease burden. It was decided that whatever plan we designed had to draw-in and engage other sectors of the state government, hence the first state health plan was anchored on a Health in All Policies Policy (HiAPP) approach, which gave birth to the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance Programme. We (the SMOH) engaged all of government in health, in particular, the ministries of Finance, Education, Water resources, Power and Electricity, Works and Roads, Lands and Housing, Information and Public Enlightenment, and Governor’s Office had representation the Management Committee of the Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Training (the Think Tank). We also engaged every donor / development partner working in the State and outside it. In addition, there was a patient representative in the Committee. The interaction with and participation of these non medical representatives provided a rich resource pool for feeling the pulse of the users of the health system, from which some research questions were even generated. The HiAPP made it easier for research results to be shared across government and the public much more easily.

Some of the outputs from HiAPP, led Cross River State to lead other states in ground breaking policies, including i) that only Cross River State bought into the National Health Insurance Scheme in 2006 to deal with the challenge of out of pocket payment for health care services driving families into poverty and making millions delay access to care and leading to more complications, cost of care and poorer prognosis; ii) passing the Legislation on mandatory wearing of car seat belts and helments for motor cyclists, which led to a dramatic fall in morbidity and mortality from Road Traffic Accidents; iii) overcoming the population’s resistance to the ABC (abstinence,  Be faithful, Condom) message for HIV Control, which led to unprecedented 50% drop in HIV seroprevalence in three years (from 12% to 6.1%). The message here is that involving non medical people and the wider population at the pre-search [?pre-research] and concept level aids later communication of the results from research, which also aids evidence informed policy making and implementation.   

Joseph Ana.

Prof Joseph Ana

Lead Senior Fellow/ medicalconsultant.

Center for Clinical Governance Research &

Patient Safety (ACCGR&PS)

P: +234 (0) 8063600642


8 Amaku Street, State Housing &20 Eta Agbor Road,


HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Senior Fellow/Medical Consultant at the Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria, established by HRI Global (former HRIWA). He is a member of the World Health Organisation’s Technical Advisory Group on Integrated Care in primary, emergency, operative, and critical care (TAG-IC2). As the Cross River State Commissioner for Health, he led the introduction of the Homegrown Quality Tool, the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance Programme, in Nigeria (2004-2008). For sustainability, he established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria. His main interest is in whole health sector and system strengthening in Lower, Low and Middle Income Countries (LLMICs). He has written six books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance programme, suitable for LLMICs, including the TOOLS for Implementation. He served as Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association’s Standing Committee on Clinical Governance (2012-2022), and he won the Nigeria Medical Association’s Award of Excellence on three consecutive occasions for the innovation. He served as Chairman, Quality & Performance, of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act 2014. He is member, National Tertiary Health Institutions Standards Committee of the Federal Ministry of Health. He is the pioneer Secretary General/Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA working group on Community Health Workers. ( Email: info AT and jneana AT