9 November 2015
As part of the 3rd International Neonatal and Maternal Immunisation Symposium (INMIS) programme, the Vaccines and Immunity Theme under the leadership of Professor Beate Kampmann hosted visitors from the Gates Foundation, Thrasher Foundation, Path and 28 other delegates from various scientific institutions on Tuesday 3rd November and Wednesday 4th November. The visitors are senior officials from institutions working in the following areas: Research Management, Maternal Immunisation and Vaccine Development. The main objective of the visit was to look at MRC Unit The Gambia’s infrastructure, specifically its’ recruitment capacity and support services.
During their visit, Professor Beate Kampmann and Dr. Ed Clark had the opportunity to deliver a short presentation about The Unit’s chronology, scientific vision and the Vaccines and Immunity Theme strategy. The strategy works towards understanding the ontogeny of immunity to inform the design of vaccines. It maximises vaccine impact which has continued to develop its portfolio of discovery, delivery of science and projects. Embedded in The Unit’s scientific vision, the strategy seeks to contribute to the control of infectious diseases of public health importance in West Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, the strategy addresses the high burden of maternal and neonatal mortality designed to implement the next generation of interventions against nutrition related diseases through scientific discovery to strengthen research on non-communicable diseases.
Dr. Ed Clark and Professor Kampann, also had the opportunity to highlight recent research achievements, including present and future ambition, which seeks to expand good collaborations with the National Tuberculosis (TB) Program. The strategic focus is to deliver teaching intervention for childhood TB, and link to state of the art technologies and platforms, particularly in molecular methods and data analysis.
The Unit had the opportunity to showcase the developments achieved over the years including leadership’s commitment to improve service delivery and output. Dr. Ousman Secka gave the visitors a tour of the Clinical Services, Laboratory facilities, and Biomedical services. Overall, it was a successful visit, as all collaborators were impressed by our infrastructure and quality of science delivery.