The Gambia Collaborative Medical Mission

Begun in 2022 with an exploratory/feasibility trip to the Edward Francis Smalls Teaching Hospital, The Gambia Collaborative Project is a bi-directional project to explore working with global partners to understand and achieve health equity on both sides of the Atlantic.

The global partners are The University of the Gambia, Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital of The Gambia and the Institute for Community Evolution, Sunu Reew Medical Mission, Shaklee Cares Foudation and Penn Global Visions.  The physicians traveling to the Gambia for the January 2024 mission represents the states of New Jersey, Virginia, Montana, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York.

On both sides of the Atlantic we are facing challenges that threaten the health of a significant portion of the population such as

  1.  Obesity
  2. Diabetes
  3. Coronary Artery Disease
  4. Hypertension
  5. Maternal/Child Health
  6. Sickle Cell Anemia
  7. Nutrition/Malnourishment
  8. Cerebral Vascular Accident/Stroke

 

As well as some unique challenges facing The Gambia in Infectious Disease/Tropical Disease.  Both here in the United States and in The Gambia we face similar challenges.  While the US spends more health care dollars per capita than any other nation in the world, these health care dollars are not distributed equitably and many if not most marginalized communities face the same challenges as do people in developing nations such as The Gambia.  The question that the Gambia Collaborative Project both asks and seeks to answer is:  For communities with limited resources, what are the creative solutions to create health equity and greater access to care and education for the affected population.  In both The Gambia and in marginalized communities in the US we have to look at access to clean water, transportation, access to food, mental health services.  The mission of the medical school is to train Gambian doctors who will stay in the country to serve the people of the Gambia.  Here in the United States we are also exploring how to best serve our marginalized /underserved communities. We suffer from structural racism on this side of the Atlantic and in The Gambia, they have also been impacted by colonialism that has impacted how services have been historically rendered.