MRC Unit The Gambia’s Clinical Services Department (CSD) in Fajara is responsible for providing medical care to staff, study participants and the general public. As a result, it provides the first point of contact with The Unit for most Gambians. The staff of some of The Gambia’s non-governmental organisation (NGOs) and of various international agencies also rely on our clinical advice, particularly for medical emergencies.
In Fajara, up to 150 patients are seen each working day in the nurse-led Gate Clinic. Those patients who have more complex needs can be referred to the outpatient department where they are reviewed by doctors. Patients are also referred here from other health facilities in the country. The Staff Clinic at the main site in Fajara and the field stations (Keneba and Basse) provide primary health care to MRCG staff and their immediate family (spouses and children) and runs alongside the Outpatient Department (OPD).
The 42-bed ward at Fajara provides in-patient care not only for clinical research patients but also for the very sick who come to appreciate MRCG as a centre of excellence in The Gambia. This is made possible by the contributions of the CSD nurses under the supervision of the Principal Nursing Officer, other CSD staff and the research doctors based in Fajara.
The OPD provides care for patients referred from the Gate Clinic and also supports clinical care at a number of private and health facilities; including the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH), Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction Hospital (Farafenni), Bansang Hospital and health centres in Keneba, Basse, Sibanor and Sukuta.
The clinical laboratories at MRCG Fajara provide diagnostic services, including haematology, biochemistry and microbiology, for the Gate Clinic, OPD and ward patients, as well as for patients recruited in clinical and vaccine trials. The clinical laboratories at the field stations provide a reduced service, as they work closely with government personnel at the regional health facilities. In Fajara, the X-ray department provides X-ray and ultrasonography services.