Medical Research Council- The Gambia (MRCG) and the Brikama District Hospital (BDH) recently launched a two-year project that seeks to prevent and treat COVID-19 associated severe pneumonia.
Theproject targets the Brikama District Hospital and Bundung Maternal Child Health (BMCH) catchment areas. It also aimsto help in controlling the spread of the novel corona virus among infected people.
The project in essence provides effective medication to patients in order to prevent serious illness or death.The project would take care of seriously affected patientsadmitted at the MRC treatment centre in Fajara and government treatment facilities such as the sanatorium, until they are discharged.
It is envisaged that in the project, health officials would further treat patients at BDH and BMCH for fourteen days and allow them to return after twenty- eight days for Covid-19 medical check-up.
Representing the MRC unit- The Gambia, Anna Roca, chief investigator for MRC-Gambia described the novel corona virus as global crisis, saying the partnership between the MRC and BDH is crucial in combating the pandemic.
She believed that the corona virus is under control in The Gambia, adding that "now there are fewer cases in the country compared to couple of months ago, in July and August."
Mrs. Roca pointed out thatnow many have understood how to respond to the disease but there is a need for people to gain more information on how to attend to the patients.
"Without collaboration with the community this project would not happen. And it is important to minimise harms of the pandemic in the country. It is going to minimise the severity and minimise the transmission among family members," the researcher said.
Representing Director of Health Service, Dr Mariama Drammeh commended MRC for the partnership, further acknowledging that The Gambia government is committed to combating the spread ofcorona virus in the country.
Dr.Usul Effua, principal investigator for MRC- Gambia said The Gambia had registered over three thousand COVID- 19 cases and over hundred people died in the country as a result of corona virus.
On MRC contribution to curb the spread of COVID-19 in The Gambia, she said MRC- The Gambia engaged in a drug trial to combat the disease.
This, she said would help in controlling the pandemic on Gambian soil.
"Lots of people get the virus but they don't get very sick whereas some people get very sick and admitted to hospitals and need oxygen. So we thought of drugs that would be able to intervene at different stages of the disease spectrum," she told the gathering.
Lamin Sanneh, governor of West Coast Region expressed gratitude to the Medical Research Council- The Gambia chapter for partnering with the Ministry of Health in combating the deadly disease.
Also speaking, Lamin Sanyang, Nursing Officer In-charge for BDH said the relationship between the BDH and MRC-The Gambia has been in existence for quite longtime. He enjoined the staff of BDH to work unanimously with the MRC officials to ensure they attain the sustainable development goals of this project.