Minister of Tourism, Hon. Hamat N.K. Bah, recently presided over the opening
ceremony of 70 years anniversary of Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia,
at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.
The Tourism Minister said that the prevalence of the malaria parasite in children under five years of age has decreased from 4 per cent to 0.2 per cent since 2011.
“We cannot have achieved this without the support of MRC through the Government of The Gambia. The Gambia will continue to be world class example of what can be achieved through supporting research,” he said.
He highlighted that the contribution of the Medical Research Council to The Gambia extends well beyond health, adding that MRC is their nation’s second largest employer with more than 1,200 people working for the institution across the nation.
MRC field stations in Basse, Keneba, Farafenni and its head office in Fajara have collaborated with the local health centres to deliver high quality and impactful research, he said.
According to him, this has contributed positively to the economy, saying that MRC is also a source of great opportunities for young people.
He disclosed that the support and input given by MRC scientists and researchers through the years has been of immense benefit to all Gambians.
The Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Madam Saffie Lowe, also spoke at the meeting, saying that MRC Gambia provides support to Gambian medical students from the University of The Gambia through work attachments and bed side teaching that MRC staff offer at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital.
This, she said, clearly indicates that MRC helps to lift the standard of medical school and encourage MRC to strengthen the programme.
According to the Minister, through the work of the MRC, the influence of The Gambia has expanded throughout West Africa and boosted its standing in the region.
Sir John Savill, Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Research Council UK, also speaking at the occasion said that MRC Gambia Unit would now collaborate with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a world class institution and a leader in global health, which would increase opportunities in the coming decades.