Every year Cochrane recognizes the outstanding work of Kenneth Warren, a scientist, extremely influential in drawing attention to the 'great neglected diseases' that plague people in developing countries. He prioritized the need for valid summaries of key research studies and to the way electronic media could be used to disseminate results of health research.
Kenneth was an enthusiastic supporter of the pilot work in pregnancy and childbirth that led to the creation of The Cochrane Collaboration, and, with Fred Mosteller, he co-organized the meeting at the New York Academy of Sciences at which the vision for Cochrane was first made public.
The Kenneth Warren Prize is awarded every year by Cochrane to a scientist who publishes a Cochrane Review about a health issue in developing countries. The winning entry judged to be both of high methodological quality and relevant to health problems in low income countries.
2016’s winner is Ravindra Prabhu, a Nephrologist from Manipal, India for 'Interventions for dialysis patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection'.
Ravindra told us about how he felt about winning 2016’s Award:
I completed Nephrology training from CMC Vellore, India in 2000 and since then I have been working at the Kasturba Medical College Manipal which is part of Manipal University (MU), India. My work involves providing nephrology service in the hospital attached to my college which serves a major part of coastal and interior Karnataka, India. I also am the Head of Department of Nephrology providing training for medical students and health care professionals and I divide my time equally for both activities. The Manipal University is housed in Manipal which is an educational hub in Karnataka state of India. It has different institutions across varied disciplines providing an unique opportunity for interdisciplinary interaction.
How do you first find out about Cochrane, and indeed The Kenneth Warren prize?
My information about Cochrane came through the department of Statistics of Manipal University which has been part of Cochrane Reviews since 2004 and also initiated the Public health evidence South Asia from 2012 and my idea for initiating a Cochrane review was concretized by the help I got from this department. I consider completion of a Cochrane Review a really big achievement which was made possible by great guidance I got from this department and from Cochrane Renal group whose stimulation and hand holding at every step made it all seem effortless.
Can you tell us a little more about what made you decide to enter for the award and the process involved?
My Co-author and head department of statistics Dr Sreekumar Nair encouraged me to apply for the prestigious Kenneth Warren prize and it was he who felt that I had a chance. The application process was as simple as an email with my published review to the Cochrane admin.
I wish to reiterate that completing a review and having it published in the Cochrane database was a thrilling moment for me and getting the Kenneth Warren prize was a most pleasant surprise.
What’s been the impact of winning the Award to you, and your work?
I cannot say that this is an individual achievement but really it is due to the continuous guidance and help from my Cochrane Renal Group. Getting this award has been a celebratory moment for me and my University, too.
The immediate impact of this award has been apart from the accolades I am getting in my own University and from colleagues it has served to highlight Cochrane work on the local and national level. Also it has served to stimulate my colleagues and other faculty in my workplace to initiate training in systematic reviews and be part of Cochrane.
In the year of being the winner of this award winner – what would you like to achieve? What would you be most proud of?
My immediate aim is to update my review and this award has encouraged me to do further work and aid others in doing reviews. I am proud to be part of Cochrane community and hope that in some small way I am able to build evidence which will reinforce or change practice and help patients.
Considering the stringent process which goes into completing a Cochrane review anybody who has done a review is a winner and should consider applying.
Finally, how important is this Award, its heritage and prestige in promoting Cochrane evidence based health care?
The Kenneth Warren award due to its international nature I feel puts Cochrane evidence building activity in the developing world on a global platform. It transmits the Cochrane information to a public domain and may ultimately play a part in influencing public policy and increase health.
Ravindra Prabhu A
Cochrane’s Kenneth Warren Award-nominations are open for 2017 - learn more and see if you are eligible.