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Lecture Series on Global Health - Prof. Paul Garner

Date: 24.10.2018

Location: Pettenkoferstrasse 14, 80336 Munich

The CIHLMU and the Teaching & Training Unit of the Division of Infectious Diseases had the pleasure to welcome Prof. Paul Garner from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to a keynote lecture on “Systematic Reviews: What have they ever done for Tropical Medicine?”.

In front of an audience of over 40 participants he highlighted prominent examples of myths and misbeliefs that could be addressed by scientific methods that are able to synthesize evidence across several smaller studies that may not have been able to show conclusive results: systematic reviews. Several examples of relevant policy decisions that were not taking into consideration scientific methods in collecting evidence were also given. Prof. Garner emphasizedthe responsibility of all researchers to be critical and sceptical, also vis-a-vis results of prominent researchers in renowned journals. Misleading results and uncritical dissemination of the same are prevalent at all levels of the scientific landscape, as he pointed out.

Researchers of course often have to resort to feasible and resource limited fashions to gather existing knowledge on a topic of their interest. However, literature searches that do not follow structured and well documented pathways have to be declared and read as such.

The event was concluded by a question and answer session and reception which gave participants the chance to engage actively in discussions about Prof. Garner’s well received lecture.

 

Prof. Paul Garner

He is one of the foremost leaders in the area of evidence synthesis for global health and tropical medicine. Drawn early from his experience as medical officer in Papua New Guinea towards addressing public health issues critically, he has been instrumental in setting up systematic reviews in Tropical Medicine issues under the Cochrane Collaboration for Infectious Diseases.

A Professor at the world renowned School of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool, he leads a Cochrane network of over 300 people synthesizing research to inform global, regional and national policies in tropical infections and conditions relevant to low- and middle-income countries.

Paul Garner has also made himself known in debunking myths and misbeliefs in global health and holds honorary Professorship appointments with Chongqing Medical University (China); Christian Medical College, Vellore (India); and Stellenbosch University (South Africa): His work in Evidence Synthesis increasingly in the WHO effort in securing evidence for their guidelines.