15 May 2020
The Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine donated items from the recently ended Gambia Hepatitis Intervention Studies (GHIS) to the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) Liver Clinic.
The GHIS studies started in 1986 with the introduction of the hepatitis vaccine to Gambian children. At the initial stage of the study, the vaccines was administered to a limited number of children. In 1989, the vaccine was introduced across the country but during this phase, not all children were vaccinated. The objective of the GHIS was to look at the occurrence of cancer among the vaccinated and non-vaccinated children.
The donated items include a Toyota land cruiser station wagon, 4×4 land cruiser hardtop with 5 doors, 2 motorcycles, a fibro scan machine, 2 echo cardiogram machines, 6 desktops, 4 laptops, a printer with scanner, a printer, and a UPS. The Fibro Scan machine will allow doctors to measure fibrosis (scarring) and steatosis (fatty change) in the liver.
Dr Charles Roberts the acting Chief Medical Officer thanked MRCG at LSHTM for the gesture. He said, “although the GHIS has ended, the EFSTH will continue to see liver patients, thus the equipment donated will be of great use. We hope to continue working together in providing care to the people. We are merging the liver clinic with the endoscopic clinic and will be knocking at your doors for support.”
Professor Umberto D’Alessandro, Unit Director of the MRCG at LSHTM assured the hospital of the Unit’s support and collaboration. He added that “this donation is part of our continuous collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the EFSTH. As a research centre, we have conducted many research activities in the hospital which cannot go unnoticed. We will continue to support the work of the hospital within our capacity”.
The Public Relations Officer at EFSTH, Mr Kebba Sanneh echoed similar sentiments. He thanked MRCG at LSHTM for prioritising the EFSTH. According to Mr Sanneh, the items donated will add value to the services provided by the hospital. He concluded by urging other institutions to emulate MRCG at LSHTM by supporting the hospital, as health should be everyone’s business.