On Wednesday 5 October 2016, at the Institut de Recherche en Santé, de Surveillance Epidémiologique et de Formation (IRESSEF), Professor Umberto D’Alessandro (MRC Unit The Gambia,MRCG), Professor Soulaymane Mboup (IRESSEF) and Prof Ibrahima Thioub (Université Cheikh Anta Diop, UCAD) signed the West Africa Global Health Alliance (WAGHA) memorandum of understanding.
The Alliance, which is part of MRCG’s plan to extend activities to the West African region, brings together researchers and resources from three institutions; MRCG, UCAD and IRESSEF to undertake complementary and synergistic work on global health.
During the Dakar visit, senior researchers from the three institutions defined the scientific programme of the Alliance and the way forward. A larger scientific meeting is planned for next year with the aim of involving more early and mid-term career researchers and further explore common scientific and training activities.
According to Dembo Kanteh, “the signing of WAGHA is an important milestone in achieving The Unit’s visions of forming an alliance with a well-recognised West African institution, to form a hub for research and training in the region.”
When asked about his vision for the Alliance, Professor Umberto D’Alessandro said “With this agreement, we hope to move towards our vision of creating a West Africanresearch centre of global health which will address the major health issues in the region, including the still unacceptable high maternal and neonatal mortality burden. WAGHA will also coordinate the capacity building efforts of the three involved institutions.”