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17 Gambian doctors sworn in

Dec 30, 2010, 11:47 AM | Article By: Momodou Faal

Seventeen Gambian medical doctors of the School of Medicine and Allied Sciences of the University of the Gambia were yesterday sworn in.

The swearing-in ceremony, presided over by Dr Momodou Tangara, minister of Foreign Affairs, International Relations and Gambians Abroad, was held at the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital in Banjul.

The latest swearing-in of the 17 doctors has brought the total number of Gambian doctors graduated to 59.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Tangara underscored the importance the Gambia government attaches to the medical profession, noting that the doctors are the pride of the nation.

He called on the newly sworn-in doctors to honour the ethics of the profession, and always have the patients at the back of their minds.

He commended the governments of Cuba, Nigeria, Taiwan, WHO and MRC for their support towards the school of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences of the University of the Gambia.

Professor Muhammed Kah, Vice Chancellor of the University of the Gambia, said that the university and medical school is not only among the best in Africa, but among the best in the world and that it adequately supplies the capacity needs in the health sector.

According to him, many were sceptical in 1999, and laughed and ridiculed the idea of UTG Chancellor’s resolve to establish the University of the Gambia.

“And when he decided to have the School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, sceptics continued to laugh and ridicule the idea, suggesting that it will not work,” he said, adding that those sceptics did not have his foresight, and time proved them wrong.

He says there is an urgent need to develop a critical mass of medical and health professionals who are able to create, share and apply the products of research, science and technologies to increase the health of the nation.

Professor Ousman Nyan, Provost of the School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, said this was the fourth cohort of medical graduates from the School of Medicine, and announced that the graduates had completed six and a half years of training.

Dr Adama Sallah, Registrar at the Gambia Medical and Dental Council, points out that Sub-Saharan Africa today accounts for 11 percent of the world’s population, yet it carries 24% of the global disease burden in human and financial costs; bears almost half of the world’s death of children under five, but commands less than 1% of the global health expenditure.

According to him, health facilities, goods and services must be scientifically and medically appropriate, and of good quality.

This, he adds, requires, among other things, a well trained, effective, responsive and equitably distributed health workforce in the country.

He finally thanked the families of the graduates for their support towards the successful completion of their course.

Among the speakers was Dr. Mamadi Cham, the RVTH medical director.