On 7th October 2021, the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (MRCG at LSHTM), in collaboration with the Gambia Red Cross Society and the Spanish Red Cross, handed over a donation of medical equipment worth over D5 million to the Bakau Centre of the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH).
The donation was made through the joint COVID-19 response project, funded by the European Union, and being implemented by the MRCG at LSHTM and Red Cross partners. The project seeks to support and strengthen public health and socioeconomic systems to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in The Gambia.
Dr Abubacarr Jagne, Head of the National COVID-19 Case Management Centre spoke about the significance of technology in the advancement of healthcare and COVID-19 case management. He said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the dynamics of healthcare, and this has necessitated the use of technology to ensure proper healthcare delivery and management. This support will help us to remotely observe and manage patients severely affected with COVID-19.”
In his statement, the Chief Medical Director at the EFSTH Prof. Ousman Nyan, expressed his gratitude and highlighted the critical role that the MRCG at LSHTM has played – in collaboration with the Ministry of Health – to deliver an effective public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic in The Gambia.
He stated, “We appreciate and commend the MRCG at LSHTM for the partnership to make this donation possible. This will help to ensure a sustainable healthcare delivery is attained, and further equip the system to manage COVID-19 and other related illnesses.”
Dr. Davis Nwakanma, Chief Operating Officer of the MRCG at LSHTM, reaffirmed the Unit’s vision to improve healthcare and save lives globally and within the sub-region. He added that the Unit takes every opportunity to improve the lives of people through research and the provision of critical health services.
“We hope that this donation will make a real impact and save lives. The MRCG at LSHTM has always partnered with the Ministry of Health, and we look forward to continuing that relationship as we face more epidemics and outbreaks, globally. The capacity to monitor patients remotely will be very important, so we expect this relationship to continue.”
The donation includes 185 boxes of surgical gloves; 20,000 syringes; 5,200 surgical gowns; and the installation of 32 CCTV cameras to support remote monitoring of COVID-19 patients admitted in the centre.
Since its inception, the European Union-funded project has supported COVID-19 response activities including the purchase of laboratory equipment and reagents; 3D printing of PPE; oxygen and PPE supply for COVID-19 treatment; vaccination exercises, as well logistics support for overseas procurement.
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