By Kebba Secka

Officials of Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital have disclosed that the institution has been accredited by the West African College of Surgeons to run post graduate programmes for resident doctors. These was revealed in a press conference held at its conference hall on Thursday July 6th.

Speaking at the conference, Dr Charles Roberts, Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board explained that on 28th June 2018; the West African College of Surgeons visited The Gambia primarily to assess the status and quality of health service delivery in the country. According to him, during their visit, they were taken to The Gambia’s main referral hospital in Banjul and Bundung Maternal Hospital during which visitors expressed appreciation for the facilities and resources they were shown. He said when the college of surgeons returned, they agreed that the Gambia has met the minimum standard to be licensed to operate a post graduate programme for resident doctors. He announced that the programme will kick start in September this year and is expected to attract candidates around the world.

Dr Abdoulie Keita, coordinator of the post graduate programme and many other speakers dilated on the important achievement that running such a programme will have for the country, noting that it will boost the financial gains of the hospitals among others. They continued to emphasize that apart from the financial gains, the programme will promote quality health care services, and that consultants and Doctors will have the opportunity to see and attain many of their patients. “More importantly, the country will increase in the number of specialists particularly in the area of gynecology and obstetrics department and this will reduce the burden on how much government spends in terms of increasing specialists for these areas,” Dr Roberts added that, “Also, maternal death rate which continues to be challenging though significantly reduced, is expected to be tackled amidst the effective operation of this programme.”

Dr Patrick Idoko head of Gynecology and Obstetrics department of the hospital said the programme will attract both national and international students who wish to specialise in gynecology and obstetrics and this will help boost the financial status of the hospital. He said he would encourage Gambians and non Gambian residents doctors who wish to specialise in gynecology to pick a form by the end of this month as the program is starting in September this year.

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