Oct 21, 2008, 6:14 AM
Unit-The Gambia organised an open day to provide feedback to the Bundung
community on the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PCV10 and the pregnANX1-2 trials over the weekend.
The event, held at the Maternal and Child Health Hospital, was on the theme: “New intervention to improve maternal and child health.”
In his statement, Alagie Sankareh, regional health director of health services western health region, said they gathered for the next phase of the ongoing initiative to seek better public health options for people within the community.
He said this would not have being possible without the engagement of the community, stakeholders and the government of The Gambia a longstanding partner of the MRC Unit.
According to him, public health is a top priority across the region but that careful research seeking effective interventions takes perseverance and time.
“These studies are evidence of the length of time and the great amount of work necessary to see new solutions in public health,” he said.
“The government of The Gambia, the MRC and the community at large all hope that the collaboration will lead to new, effective interventions to improve maternal and child health across our country and beyond,” he added.
He said pneumonia is one of the commonest causes of death in children under 5 years of age.
Current vaccines against pneumococcal infection, including those given to children in The Gambia, are effective and have led to reductions in deaths and diseases.
He also indicated that the trials are testament to the longstanding collaboration between the government of The Gambia, MRC and the wider community.
For his part, Chief Executive Officer of Bundung Maternal and Child Health Hospital who was deputised by Kebba Manneh, commended the MRC for its role in improving access to health within the community.
He said that MRC has given unprecedented assistance to the community of Bundung and that their work was appreciated by the community.
He also indicated that the work of MRC has impacted positively on the community.
MRC Director, Umberto D’Alessandro, expressed delight to see the MRC working in close collaboration with the community, adding that Gambia is a small country but with its resources are very important.
He said that MRC is delighted to be working with these institutions, adding that MRC is one of the most successful institutions in Africa in terms of resources.
He also expressed joy and appreciation of the efforts of the MRC which, he said, has yielded positive outcomes in the lives of people.