In Pursuit of Quality at MRC Unit The Gambia

On Wednesday, 9th November 2016, the Quality Department of MRC Unit The Gambia launched 2016 World Quality Month (WQM). Under the theme In Pursuit of Quality, all staff were invited to attend. Participants were welcomed by Yai Louise Ndure-Bensouda, Head of Quality Department who elaborated on the significance of WQM. As part of the event, various speakers shared inspirational stories geared towards stimulating quality.

The Quality team (Yai Louise Ndure-Bensouda, William Dei-Alorse and Hulay Sabally-Dondeh)

The Quality team (Yai Louise Ndure-Bensouda, William Dei-Alorse and Hulay Sabally-Dondeh)

Speaking on Winning through Quality, Professor Umberto D’Alessandro, Unit Director, spoke on the importance of quality in achieving The Unit’s overall strategic objectives and emphasised on the need to maintain high-quality outputs and future proposals for competitiveness.

Joan Vives Tomas, Director of Operations spoke vividly on the Value for Money and Designing The Unit’s Future in relation to quality. In his remarks, Joan elaborated on The Unit’s scientific vision and the importance of attaining a quality certification and said “now is the time to expand The Unit’s (accreditation of the laboratories) to other research support areas within The Unit. This can be done by improving efficiency and streamlining our processes, so as to be active designers of our future.”

Dr Davis Nwakanma, Head of Laboratory Services gave an inspirational talk on Driving Change which he said the future is full of opportunities to drive change which can only be achieved by changing behaviour. With the recent accreditation of ISO 15189, MRCG have the key elements right through ownership and commitment.

William Dei-Alorse, Quality Assurance Auditor, spoke on the topic Everyone Owns Quality. He elaborated on the definition of quality, outcome versus possible approach, document hierarchy-guidance for procedure and activities and gave an overview of the different perceptions of quality. He highlighted the importance of each role at MRCG in enhancing The Unit as a whole which he said, “taking responsibility for your piece of the puzzle is the key to owning quality.”

Vivat Thomas-Njie, Clinical Trials Department Coordinator; Pa Modou Cham, Database Developer; and Bolarinde Lawal, Clinical Laboratories Manager also spoke on personal and departmental experiences and their Pursuit of Quality which was a source of inspiration to the participants.

quality-month-logo1As part of the event, the Quality Steering Group (QSG) members who have contributed immensely to the quality developments at MRCG were issued with recognition awards. QSG members that were present and received the awards are Tisbeh Faye-Joof, Gilleh Thomas, Vivat Thomas-Njie, Bolarinde Lawal, Sheriff Secka, Edward Demba, Joel Strunz Kumado, William Dei-Alorse and Hulay Sabally-Dondeh. The event was chaired by Ebenezer Foster Nyarko.

Celebrations continued in Basse and Keneba on the 15th and 16th of November and these were well attended. The Head of Basse Field Station, Pa Cheboh Saine, and Deputy Head of Station in Keneba, Dr Landing Jarju, both emphasised the relevance of quality in every aspect of our work and stressed the need for staff to embrace the established quality tools. Members of QSG in the field stations were also recognised. Recipients are Usman Nurudeen Ikumapayi and Tolulope Osunnuyi. The Masters of Ceremony in Basse and Keneba were Henry Badji and Ebrima Danso.