Statement: Patient Confidentiality at the MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM

23 March 2020

20 March 2020

The Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is aware of information circulating on social media and a local radio station, linked to the distribution of a supposed photo of the isolated COVID-19 patient in our Fajara Clinic.

We inform the general public that the photo circulating on social media is not a photo of the patient. We have taken deliberate steps over the past few weeks to put in place strong measures to ensure patient privacy and confidentiality during both COVID-19 preparedness and response processes.

Our communication on case management and test results is carefully designed to protect the identity of any persons receiving support from our Unit, regardless of their test results.

We wish to reassure the public that our Unit operates on high professional and ethical standards. We take patient privacy and confidentiality very seriously, and this applies to all services we offer. Our operations are equally governed by the international General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and we follow these standards strictly.

Our frontline health workers and technical experts continue to deliver excellent service to support the Government of The Gambia to deliver efficient responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to continue supporting the Ministry of Health and the National Health Emergency Committee.

We urge all media personnel to desist from spreading false information in these critical times. We encourage the media to support response efforts by sharing only reliable and verified information, to avoid causing panic within the general population.

To learn about or verify information on our operations during this COVID-19 pandemic, contact us on information@mrc.gm.