58th annual conference of the West African College of Surgeons scientific
meeting has opened in Banjul on the theme, global surgery implementation for
Africa financing for health care.
Gambia’s president Adama Barrow, accompanied by cabinet ministers and representatives of international agencies and organisations led the opening of the four-day conference at Kairaba Beach Hotel on February 26.
President Barrow assured Gambia’s support to the West African College of Surgeons, saying health is number one priority of his government. He said the conference came at a time when The Gambia just entered in a new era with improvement in the health sector.
“My administration will continue to support your college. Efforts would be put together to improve and it is commendable to include the African Union agenda. I have noted over the years that your college has demonstrated a lot of efforts.”
Saffie Lowe-Ceesay, Gambia’s Minister of Health and Social Welfare said Gambia is conscious of the need for surgical doctors, medical laboratory equipment; improved health facilities and necessary specialists, saying her ministry is committed to facilitating partnerships.
She said after ten years of the medical programme existence at the University of The Gambia, dialogue has started to commence for more partnership. “We are hoping to make more partnerships in the future and I want to thank all of you for your support to revitalise our health sector.”
Deputy Chairperson of African Union Commission Thomas Kwesi Quartey said The Gambia maybe small in size but its people have demonstrated a democratic credential.
He said a united democratic Gambia is anticipated under the African Union, saying the African continent is ready stand with The Gambia. “We at the African Union have been collaborating with the College of Surgeons at the technical level. There will be no development without healthy people and it is only healthy and educated people that can build the Africa that we want,” he said.
Dr. Melville O. George, chairman of the local organising committee said this is the third time Gambia is hosting the conference since 1990. “We are particularly happy because we are still euphoric about the historic change that took place just over a year ago, ushering in a new Gambia under President Barrow’s leadership.”