Medical Research Council Unit the Gambia (MRCG), in collaboration with the
Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Horizon Trust, and Baylor University of
Medicine on Tuesday convened a two-day stakeholders training on West Africa
Regional Horizons at the MRCG Unit conference hall.
In his opening statement, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Omar Barry, thanked the MRC Unit for hosting the event in The Gambia.
According to PS Barry, The Gambia has high hopes for Horizons, as a result, Gambia needs and deserves world-class healthcare provision, as well as the need for accessible, equitable and high quality maternal and infant healthcare.
He noted that Horizons represents a once-in a national lifetime event that would outlive all of them, saying that Gambia was committed to this endeavour and they are proud to be working in partnership with horizons.
Dr. Barry said Horizons Trust had already been doing outstanding work in Serekunda Health Centre, Fajikunda Health Centre and more recently in the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital.
He added that in Serrekunda and Fajikunda health centres, the Horizon trust has installed solar powered electricity, cleaned out their childbirth facilities, and embarked on educating and training midwives and Orderly staff in infection control and prevention.
Horizons Hospital venture is jointly funded by the African Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank private sector division.
In his welcoming remark, Professor Umberto d’ Alessandro, Director of MRCG, gave a brief background of MRCG, and recalled that MRC laboratories was founded in The Gambia in 1947 when the WWII British Army Hospital was handed over to Medical Research Council.
According to Prof. Umberto, MRC is financed by the UK Government and it represents the UK’s single largest medical research investment in a developing country.
He disclosed that the unit’s research concentrates on communicable diseases of direct concern to The Gambia and the African continent for the purpose of minimising the burden of illness and mortality in the country and the developing world as a whole.
It conducts research in nutrition, reproductive health and non-communicable diseases, he stated further.