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MRC launches Quinquennial Strategy Plan

Apr 4, 2016, 11:15 AM | Article By: Kaddijatou Jawo

Medical Research Council (MRC)-The Gambia Friday launched its five-year strategy plan (2016-2021), at a ceremony held at MRC in Fajara.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Professor Umberto D. Alessandro of MRC Unit, said the Quinquennial Plan is for a five-year period and a major achievement for the MRC.

It had been possible thanks to the scientists that are working with MRC and its staff, he said, adding that the five-year plan would help the MRC units to achieve many things within the timeframe and even more.

Professor Umberto added: “We are also going to make a special effort to communicate to the general public so that people know exactly what the MRC is doing and why we are doing it, as well as to partner with the Ministry of Health to translate this research result into intervention policies.

“MRC is also happy to mention that we have a good publication called ‘Our Science means what it means’ so in that publication we are communicating the result to what we are doing,” Prof Umberto said.

There was a history that had characterised the history of the unit and how the unit had contributed to the intervention over the past 70 years, he said.

Also speaking at the launching ceremony was Dr Assan Jaye, Head of Training at MRC, who said MRC has a role to play, which includes research and capacity building for strategy programmes because they have recognised the importance of training and building capacity.

He said over the last couple of years, the unit had made major strides in developing not only research leaders for The Gambia and for the sub-region, but also for competent technical staff in various areas of expertise.

He added that in the last five years, records have shown that close to 150 individuals were trained to attain degrees, ranging from foundation degrees to BSc, Masters and PhD including professional certified qualifications.

The training represented 35 per cent of the total trainees for the last five years, and women made up 30 per cent of those among the trainees.

According to Dr Jaye, MRC would like to build on these achievements in the next five years, but with the training strategy that will be underpinned by matching their academic training opportunities to individuals with significant potential to enhance their capacity for research, and their capacity to attract money and to be independent researchers.

“We need to redefine our vision to train talented competent bright people with the goal for professional advancement, and that will be for high research output; but at the same time we will continue our technical and support strategy competent and skill training programmes because MRC has become a training hack for the region,” Dr Jaye said.

He further added: “We are proud that many institutions in the sub-region appreciated the technical training that we offer like the biomedical engineering equipment and compliers training programmes and the innovative E-learning field workers training that were developed by competent staff.”

Launching the five-year strategy plan, Health Minister Dr Omar Sey commended the MRC and the Ministry of Health for a job-well-done.

He said the ministry of Health would be more than willing to work with MRC in this Quinquennial Strategy Plan for a period of five-years; and the Gambia government had also recognised MRC in the cure of pneumonia, malaria and TB, as well as other related illnesses, without hindrance, which they appreciated.