The Gambia Diaspora Health Initiative (GDHI) has donated medical supplies and laboratory equipment worth $500, 000 to the government on Thursday, to improve the health care service delivery in the country.
The founder and president of the initiative, Effie Nyassie-Tallon said the objective is to equip health facilities and strengthen the technical equipment of laboratories.
The founder and president of GDHI, Effie Nyassie-Tallon
She said the idea to donate came during Christmas visit when members of the association discovered that certain medical and laboratory equipment were either not available or were not in good condition. According to her, that jeopardized the proper functioning of the hospitals and the overall care of the patients.
“As a result, GDHI board members became actively involved in fundraising events of all sorts to ensure we do our part as patriotic Gambians. We are proud to stand and say that Gambian citizens all around the world joined us to help raise funds to be able to obtain these two full containers of medical supplies and laboratory equipment with a total of 1238 pieces of items.”
The containers are 20ft and 40ft respectively which was allowed in the country on a duty-waiver agreement based on MoU between ministries of health and finance.
“We are particularly proud of our achievement because it will promote the quality health care and the treatment of infectious diseases.
The items include beds, ventilators, ultrasound machine, refrigerators, oxygen concentrators, infusion pumps, IV stands, wheelchairs, bacteria analyzer, nebulizer machines, microscopes and hospital patient furniture.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony at the Central Medical Store in Kotu, Dr. Abba Hydara, an eye surgeon, described the move as the highest level of demonstration of citizenship.
“What we are witnessing today is a major contribution towards the service delivery aspect because each building block needs heavy government investment. This is a very huge initiative. It is a laudable gesture from GDHI to put together resources that will support and ease service delivery across the country.
The CEO of Bundung Maternal and Child Health Hospital, Kebba Manneh, one of the beneficiaries, hailed the diaspora for the initiative.
“This help is very important because it will ease the work of the care givers (doctors and nurses). We will also make sure we take good care of the materials so that they can serve their right purposes,” he said.
Health care materials
The Mayor of Banjul, Rohey Malick Lowe, who’s also a board member of Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, described the health of women and children as a matter of concern.
Momodou Lamin Jaiteh, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health acknowledged the continuous support from GDHI, describing it as exemplary.
He said the initiative will fill a great vacuum that the health sector is experiencing in terms of limitation of materials and supplies to improve the health sector.
Aminah Faal Sonko, a former sports minister and fitness instructor, moderated the event.
The Gambia Diaspora Healthcare Initiative was founded in 2017 by diasporan Gambians to help The Gambia with standard healthcare through donation of medical supplies, training, advocacy and support.