MRC-The Gambia London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in collaboration with the government of The Gambia on Wednesday organized an open day forum on ETVAX study project dubbed ‘a vaccine trial study focus on diarrhoea diseases to see the safety and efficacy of the ETEC vaccine.’
The program is aimed at building a stronger partnership between MRCG and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Community and the Government of The Gambia. The event was held in Farafenni in the North Bank Region.
At the forum, AbdolieJarju, regional health director for North Bank East Health Region in Farafenni, thankedMRCG for complementing the efforts of the Ministry of Health in the attainment of quality health care, recalling that the past results demonstrated MRCG’s invaluable support to the health sector.
He equally called on communities and health facilities to closely work as a team to ensure proper health care needs of the population and most importantly children under5 years.
Dr. Jahangir Hossain of MRCG gave an overview of the ETVAX trail project, saying it is aimed at protecting children from disease and improved health of children between 6 and 18 months.
“Diarrhoea contributes to 9% of death among children under 5 years registered in The Gambia. The program was earlier conducted in Upper River and Central River Regions and the rolling up of program. High burden and mortality among children and said the vaccine has been found to be safe and protected and would help to protect children 6 months to 18 months.”
The study of ETVAX vaccine, he said, is examining the efficacy of oral inactivated ETVAX vaccine to prevent enterotoxigenic E.Coli associated diarrhoea in Gambia children ages 6 to 18 months.
“The study intends to enroll 4,936 children aged 6 to18 months in four vaccination sites of Kerewan, Ngain Sanjal, Noo Kunda and Farafenni.
Musa Kanteh, deputy governor of North Bank Region, expressed his office resolve in providing the much-needed support on the implementation of the vaccine trial.
He challenged people of his region to support the noble crusade, while equally calling on parents to ensure compliance of the project to protect children from diarrhoea.
Bakary Jammeh, a representative of the Chief of Upper Badibou lauded the community engagement strategies adopted by MRCG, by engaging key stakeholders at regional and district levels in a bid to attain success of the project.
He assured of his district authority’s fullest support in the full execution of vaccine trial to prevent diarrhoea among the children.
Alh. Bakary Darboe and Nyima Trawally, a nurse at ETVAX vaccine trail, both expressed similar sentiments.
The duo underscored the importance of community involvement and field activities to map out strategies by the study teams to ensure community compliance.
Lamin Bondi, principal Nursing Officer at Farafenni General Hospital said the involvement of the community would contribute to effective health care services and help reduce the burden.
Other speakers include wereDr. Fatou Secka, Abdoulie Cham, head of Communication at MRCG, who described the open day as important for the project and the communities.