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Jan 6, 2009, 7:28 AM

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Isatou Touray (PhD), Executive Director of The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP), who has been designated "Gambian of the Year 2008" by The Gambia News and Report weekly magazine. Dr Touray has been a living and vibrant example to all people as to how to conduct an important campaign on a sensitive subject with grace, goodwill and without causing rancour.

The publishers ofThe Gambia News and Report weekly, state that her selection was because of the way she has courageously accepted, with great commitment, dedication and tenacity, to serve as the main driving force behind the espousal and pursuit of a worthy cause, namely the campaign for gender equality and against traditional practices affecting the health of thousands of our women and children in a socio-cultural context that still distances itself from any serious public discussions of or open involvement with such well rooted sensitive taboos and traditional practices.

With the instigation of the "Drop the Knife" campaign it can be safely said that the lives of many women, young and old, and children have been saved. The kinds of medical problems which result from FGM are many and varied and all in all are a threat to the health and well being of our population. We can thank Dr. Touray and her colleagues at Gamcotrap for saving the lives of many Gambians through their work.

We wish Dr. Touray well in her work in the future and hope that she enjoys every success with her campaigns in the coming years.