The launch of the MRC Unit The Gambia’s 2016-2021 Quinquennial (5-year strategic plan) on the 1 April 2016 was successfully attended by over 400 staff, collaborators and partners. The event offered the opportunity to share our vision, plan for training and highlight recent success stories.
Among the attendees were MRCG Scientific Advisory Board, Dr Omar Sey, Minister of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW), Colin Crorkin, British Ambassador, Dr SagoeMoses, WHO Country Representative, Pauline Mullin, MRC Head of Corporate Communications, Mr Momodou Mboge, UNFPD Assistant Representative and Mr Modou Njai, Director of Health Promotion.
In his opening remarks, Professor Umberto D’Alessandro, MRCG Director said “MRCG’s scientific vision is to contribute to the post-2015 sustainable development agenda by producing evidence-based research to improve health in West Africa and beyond. More specifically, The Unit will contribute to the control of infectious diseases of public health importance in West Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, addressing the unacceptably high burden of maternal and neonatal mortality, design and implement next generation interventions against nutrition-related diseases through discovery science, and strengthen research on non-communicable diseases.”
Dr Assan Jaye, Senior Manager, Research Training and Career Development, elaborated on the goal of the training department for the next 5 years. Prof Beate Kampmann, Vaccines and Immunity Theme Leader, shared a Tuberculosis (TB) collaboration success story with the National TB Programme.
Dr Martin Antonio, Head, Molecular Microbiology and Mycobacteriology, talked about how MRCG instantly responded to WHO and the Minister of Health in Ghana to support the meningitis outbreak in Ghana. Dr Anna Roca, Theme Coordinator Disease Control & Elimination, and Abdoulie Bojang, Scientific Officer, shared a success story on maternal and neonatal research. Modupeh Betts, Trainee Bioinformatician, shared a success story on Epigenetic research.
Dr Lamin Jarju, Deputy Manager of the Gambian National Malaria Programme, reported how the National Malaria control programmes within the south of the Sahara are determined to fight Malaria in order to bring the disease to an elimination stage.
According to Dr Omar Sey, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, “The Gambian Government recognizes the efforts of MRCG in the prevention of pneumonia and other childhood illnesses through the excellent research which assist the MOHSW and partners in designing and implementing policies.”
The launch ended with the unveiling of the new Unit video which highlights our accomplishments, vision, facilities and Themes to encourage stronger collaborations, new projects/initiatives, and more scientific health research for our future.