The Gambia first mentioned in MRC reports, when staff were appointed to a Nutritional Field Working Party to undertake studies in a rural area of The Gambia in conjunction with the Human Nutrition Research Unit in London.
Nutrition Working Party established at Genieri in the Central River Division, under the leadership of Dr W T C Berry.
Dr Ian McGregor recruited to study the relationship between parasitism and nutrition; in the same year, Keneba Field Station was established.
Following recommendations, the laboratories were converted to a research establishment of wider scope administered directly by MRC UK Council. Dr John Newsome appointed Director.
The role of antibodies in protection against malaria established (McGregor & Cohen); the effect of malaria on birth weight and child growth also established (McGregor)
Dr Brian Greenwood appointed Director; a new programme of work established with an emphasis on intervention studies against malaria, schistosomiasis and hepatitis.
Scientific direction of the Keneba Unit taken over by the main MRC Dunn Nutrition Unit in Cambridge.
Basse field site established; it was initially a focus for studies on schistosomiasis, which had a high prevalence rate in the area and its environs.
Farafenni field site established; it was chosen as a suitable site for community studies on the prevention of malaria
Caio field site established to undertake a long term study of the epidemiology of HIV 2 infection. (Caio was given full MRC field site status in 2006.)
Discovery by Sarah Rowland-Jones and colleagues in The Gambia and Oxford that some heavily exposed commercial sex workers are resistant to HIV infection.
Established that insecticide treated bednets decrease overall mortality in children aged 1 to 9 years by 25%.
First efficacy trial of RTS,S malaria vaccine in semi-immune adult men in The Gambia. The Lancet. 2001 Dec 8;358(9297):1927-34.
Appointment of a Unit Executive Management Board: Professor Tumani Corrah – Unit Director, Professor Sarah Rowland-Jones – Director of Research; Mr Mark Radford – Director of Operations.
‘Flies and Eyes’ study findings published: Role of flies and provision of latrines in trachoma control: cluster-randomised controlled trial. The Lancet. 2004 Apr 3;363(9415):1093-8.
Elimination of Hib in The Gambia, following the incorporation of the vaccine into The Gambia’s Extended Programme of Immunization (EPI) ; findings published in The Lancet.
Findings on investigation into dramatic decline in malaria prevalence in The Gambia published: Changes in malaria indices between 1999 and 2007 in The Gambia: a retrospective analysis. The Lancet. 2008 Nov 1;372(9649):1545-54.
Mosquito screens found to be cheap and effective in malaria prevention. Efficacy of two different house screening interventions against exposure to malaria and anaemia in children in The Gambia: a randomized controlled trial. The Lancet. 2009 Sep; 374, (9694):998–1009.
Publication of data on substantial reductions in child death rates in The Gambia. Reaching Millennium Development Goal 4 – The Gambia. Tropical Medicine and International Health. 2011 Oct. 16(10):1314–1325.
Study confirms rotavirus – for which a vaccine already exists – as the leading cause of diarrheal disease among infants and identified other top causes for which additional research is urgently needed. Burden and aetiology of diarrhoeal disease in infants and young children in developing countries (the Global Enteric Multicenter Study, GEMS): a prospective, case-control study. The Lancet. 2013 Jun. 382(9888):209-222.
In August 2013 the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of The Gambian Government formerly introduced the rotavirus vaccine into its Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI).
Results of the SANTE study show combining insecticide sprays and bed nets “no more effective” in cutting malaria than nets alone. Efficacy of indoor residual spraying with dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane against malaria in Gambian communities with high usage of long-lasting insecticidal mosquito nets: a cluster-randomised controlled trial. The Lancet. 2014 Dec.
Study findings show a fall in the number of deaths caused by pneumonia and measles in The Gambia. Global, regional, and national age-sex specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 240 causes of death, 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. The Lancet. 2014 Dec.