Cochrane Thailand: Bridging gaps and building capacity

Cochrane Thailand

Cochrane's strength is in its collaborative, global community. Cochrane Geographic Groups represent Cochrane in their host country, advocate for the use of Cochrane evidence in health policy and practice, and support Cochrane's members and supporters who live there.  Here we look more closely at the impact of Cochrane Thailand, exploring its initiatives and contributions to advancing healthcare not only within Thailand but also across the Southeast Asian region.

Since its inception in 2002, initially as the Thai Cochrane Network before evolving into Cochrane Thailand in 2003, the group has been steadfast in its commitment to disseminating the fundamental concepts of research synthesis and championing the importance of evidence-based healthcare. Located at Khon Kaen University in Northeast Thailand, Cochrane Thailand shares information about Cochrane, translates Cochrane plain language summaries into Thai, and provides workshops about preparing Cochrane reviews and how to use the Cochrane related software. 

"We are dedicated to promoting the use of Cochrane evidence in healthcare decision-making, with a focus not only on local but also global impact," states Professor Pisake Lumbiganon, Convenor of Cochrane Thailand. "Our designation as the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research Synthesis in Reproductive Health in 2014 and as the WHO HRP Alliance Hub for research capacity strengthening for WHO/SEARO in 2017 underscores our commitment to driving change on a global scale. The reviews we contribute to have a far-reaching impact, with many being incorporated into WHO guidelines. Cochrane Thailand takes pride in its role in shaping healthcare practices both within Thailand and beyond." 

One of the group's primary objectives is to facilitate training workshops on Cochrane review preparation and the utilization of related software tools like RevMan and GRADE. These workshops have been instrumental in empowering healthcare researchers across Asia, fostering a community of those equipped with the necessary skills to conduct rigorous research synthesis.

In addition to training initiatives, Cochrane Thailand actively collaborates with various national and international organizations to generate evidence and inform healthcare policies and guidelines. Notably, the group has been invited to support WHO guideline development groups on critical health issues, contributing to the formulation of recommendations that impact healthcare practices globally. Another notable project was working with Cochrane Australia on the five-year 'South East Asia - Optimising Reproductive and Child Health in Developing Countries' project that helped to improve the clinical practice of treating pregnancy and childbirth-related disorders and enhance the health outcomes of mothers and infants in South East Asia. 


Cochrane Thailand has also been instrumental in translating Cochrane evidence into Thai, ensuring accessibility for Thai-speaking healthcare professionals, patients and families, and policymakers. With over 1,000 translated Cochrane reviews, the group has significantly enhanced the dissemination and utilization of evidence-based information in the region. "We believe that language should not be a barrier to accessing high-quality healthcare information. Our translation efforts aim to bridge this gap and empower healthcare stakeholders with valuable evidence. We are very proud and thankful to all our volunteer Thai translators who are helping make an impact," emphasizes Nampet Jampathong who helps coordinate the Thai translation.

Looking ahead, Cochrane Thailand is excited about being a Centre of Research Excellence for the project called Accelerating Research and Progress in maternal And Newborn health (ARPAN). This project will help to address the major gaps across the Asia-Pacific region to improve outcomes for women and newborns. 

Cochrane Thailand welcomes collaboration and support from individuals and organizations passionate about making a difference in healthcare. they are looking for funding opportunities to continue to expand their impact throughout South Asia.  Whether through training workshops, research collaborations, or translation efforts, Cochrane Thailand remains dedicated to its vision of enhancing healthcare practices and policies through rigorous research synthesis and evidence dissemination.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024