By Tabora Bojang
Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital and the West African College of Surgeons are engaging in a new collaborative effort to increase the number of specialized training in health care, as they set to commence residency or post graduate medical programme in obstetrics, gynaecology and general surgery for Gambian doctors expected to start in September.
At a press briefing hosted by the EFSTH, officials said the residency training programme, which is the final stage of medical education for unsupervised fully licensed medical practitioners, would locally train doctors in the Gambia to be experts in specialties to cope with country’s ever-increasing healthcare demands.
The programme will base at the EFSTH and doctors in the training are expected to receive hands-on training at selected hospitals in the country including Essau District and Bundung Maternal and Child Health hospital formerly Jammeh Foundation.
A supervisory team under the West African College of Surgeons has embarked on facility supervisions at the EFSTH to access its readiness in technical capacity and logistics upon which the EFSTH accredited for meeting minimum standard required to kick off the programme.
Doctor Abdoulie Keita, coordinator of the postgraduate program in the Gambia, said this is a hugely exciting development for the country to have a medical teaching programme, which will be training doctors on the ground to serve our people better with specialised services.
He said each of the departments responsible for the coordination programme is accredited to train 15 residents in obstetrics and gynaecology for membership and 15 residents in general surgery for the first time in the country.
In addition, he said general surgery is also accredited to train two residents from membership to fellowship for the first time in Gambia.
Dr. Keita added that maternity in the country has experience increase in its rate suggesting that the introduction of the postgraduate program will introduce intensive approaches to reducing its incidence as well as improving general health care to address the burden health care needs of the population.
Dr. Charles Roberts, Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee and Head of Surgery at the EFSTH, stated that the development of this initiative is a critical step towards delivering effective and comprehensive treatment to improve the lives of people.