Engaging our collaborators with the MRC Unit The Gambia Festival

The long awaited MRCG festival to promote dialogue with the public about the global benefits of our medical research attracted over 400 people at our main site in Fajara on 21 June 2016. The event was highly commended by collaborators from The Gambia government, non-governmental organization, community elders and students.

MRCG Festival-Opening Ceremony1As part of the programme, the event started with an opening ceremony attended by US Embassy, National AIDS Secretariat, National AIDS Secretariat, Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science & Technology, Minister of Health & Social Welfare, Tallinding Annex Lower Basic School, Daddy Jobe Comprehensive School, United Nations Development Programme – The Gambia, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, World Food Programme, World Health Organisation, British High Commission and our Ethics committee.

At the end of the opening ceremony, collaborators were divided into groups of eight to explore the research of 16 of our young scientists from our three themes, Vaccines and Immunity, Disease Control and Elimination and Nutrition. Led by an MRCG staff, each group had the opportunity to visit each stand were one scientist’s presented their research through interactive demonstrations and innovative infographics. During the tour, our guests had the opportunity to explore our facilities to increase the awareness and the understanding of our scientific research. Concurrently, our scientist had the opportunity to highlight their research achievements to improve health and save lives.

Um1In his opening remarks, Prof Umberto D’Alessandro welcomed the guests and collaborators and thanked them for attending. He said “the duty of MRCG is not only to carry out high-quality research for the health problems faced by the local population but also to communicate and transfer as widely as possible the outcome of such research.” He further added that “our activities would not have been possible without the continuous support and dialogue with the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, the Government of the Gambia and other local and international organization.”

Giving his remarks the Honourable Minister of Health & Social Welfare, Omar Sey stated “MRCG has proven time and time again that medical interventions cannot be possible without research.” He further added that “The Government of The Gambia recognizes MRCG’s contribution to the global fight against diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, meningitis and other childhood illnesses in The Gambia and within the sub-Region.”

Speaking at the event, the then Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Dr Aboubacar Senghore said “as the Ministry responsible for the promotion and development of research in the country, we commend the impressive work that is been undertaken at MRCG and we encourage The Unit to continue the good work.”