SHEGAS was officially launched in February 2023 in Dakar, Senegal, with attendance by dignitaries from both The Gambia and Senegal. This included delegates from The Gambia’s Ministry of Health, MRCG at LSHTM, Cheikh Anta Diop University, and other partner institutions.
This cutting-edge project seeks to improve the coordination and delivery of healthcare services between the two nations, particularly in border areas where there is high demand for healthcare services. The project will focus on disease surveillance and control, capacity building, and resource mobilisation.
Speaking at the launch, Associate Professor and SHEGAS’ principal investigator Melisa Martinez-Alvarez highlighted the importance of the upcoming work,
“There has been very little research previously on how health systems can adapt to migration in Africa. By developing a strategy to coordinate the health systems of The Gambia and Senegal, SHEGAS will benefit the provision and access to care in the two countries and develop a methodology that other countries can use for similar strategies. I am delighted to be launching this project in partnership with our colleagues at UCAD.
Professor Mohamadou Sall, Director of the Institute of Population, Development and Reproductive Health (IPDSR), Cheikh Anta Diop University spoke about this strategic and mutually beneficial collaboration:
“The populations living along the border do not necessarily fit into state territorial logics. This research will profile and typify this search for cross-border care, and develop ways to adjust to this cross-border demand,” he highlighted.
SHEGAS will run for an initial period of two and a half years, with funding from UKRI – UK Research and Innovation and development partners. The implementation will be overseen by a joint technical committee of experts from both countries' health ministries and international experts on health systems and migration.
The project is expected to have a significant impact on the delivery of healthcare services in both The Gambia and Senegal and will contribute towards achieving positive outcomes in health systems delivery, with a focus on adapting health systems to population movement.
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