By Adama Tine
The Vice President, Dr. Isatou Touray on Tuesday commissioned a new Molecular Biology Laboratory at the Medical Research Council Unit Gambia campus (MRCG).
The new laboratory will expand the research council’s laboratory footprint and provide a fit‐for‐purpose facility for cutting‐edge research. The building also will house support facilities, as well as seminar and conference facilities respectively.
Vice President Touray said for almost 75 years MRC Unit of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has worked closely with the government of The Gambia especially the ministry of health to deliver ground breaking research and improve health outcomes in the country.
She added that across the country, the impact of the collaboration is seen in households and communities that continue to benefit from knowledge, services and support of staff and partners of the MRC Unit The Gambia.
“Our hope for the future lies on the expertise and experience we create today, and I am glad that MRC Unit the Gambia of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is supporting our mission to build a sustainable future for Gambians,” she said.
“I am convinced that this new facility will further strengthen the council’s research and diagnostic capacity as well as complement the government’s work particularly the ministry of health,” she said.
The Unit Director, Prof. Umberto D’Allessandro revealed that the new infrastructure will further increase the council’s capacity of conducting ground-breaking research to inform health policies in The Gambia and across sub-Saharan Africa. He added that, the Unit has contributed substantially to building research and public health expertise and capacities in The Gambia and in sister institutions across Africa. “Some of the young scientists trained at the Unit have become recognised international research leaders,” he noted.
He highlighted that the current COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important research is in dealing with such a global threat as the Unit has contributed significantly to the Gambia’s national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have set up diagnostic facilities, both in our lab and at the National Public Health Laboratories, genotyped viral isolates and thus provided essential information for the national response, provided expertise, and donated essential items to support the national response,” he continued
“We will continue to investigate and evaluate new interventions/approaches to provide evidence supporting health policies that will make this world a fairer place where everybody will have the same opportunities to develop his/her own potential,” he concluded.