Amir: Tanka Tanka needs food stuffs

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The deputy amir of the Ahmadiyyah Muslim Jamaat in The Gambia has urged the general public, NGOs, business operators and philanthropists to come to the aid of the country’s only mental institution by donating food items, among other valuable needs.

“I have been coming here for the past three years. I know what this place needed,” Alhaji Ebrima Mbowe said at the Tanka Tanka psychiatric hospital over the weekend.

Mr. Mbowe said this in response to a question about why they chose to donate food items instead of medication or other needs of the hospital. The Jamaat delivered bags of rice, two bags of onion, two 20-liter gallons of cooking oil and two crates of chicken to the hospital on Sunday.

Deputy Amir Mbowe said these were made possible through efforts of a medical doctor that volunteered, together with a team of other guests from the U.K.-based Humanity First, at the Tanka Tanka psychiatric clinic some time ago.

The doctor donated some money through the Jamaat for them to purchase some of the most needed stuffs for the clinic. “We decided to purchase food stuffs because they are badly needed here,” Mbowe said.

“Tanka Tanka is a nearly-forgotten place,” according to civil society activist,Dr. Amadou Scattred Janneh, who helped facilitate the delivery of the goods. Dr.Janneh has visited and also donated to the infirmary twice since his return from exile earlier this year.

“This place clearly needed help. From their feeding to housing; bed sheets, medications and security, there are various types of needs that we as society can render to them,” Dr Janneh said.

This time, he is accompanying representatives of the Jamaat, whose amir he schooled with at same University in 1986.

“Unlike a lot of us in society, these psychiatric patients cannot go and fend for themselves and get their needs,” he stated, urging the public to consider giving more towards the maintenance of the facility.

Although the journalists were not allowed to go around the facility and see for themselves the situation there, it was reported that the situation there is far from ideal.

With a capacity of 100 beds, the medicines that come from the main referral hospital in Banjul could never satisfy their needs sometimes. The facility had no bakery and only got one through intervention from a group led by Dr. Amadou Janneh.

The road connecting the facility from the high way is not also gravelled and is usually rendered un-motorable in the rainy season.

The facility has no staff bus or any vehicle to facilitate effective administration. Their staffs use the ambulance as a ride from the highway to the hospital which makes it one of de-motivation as a duty post for nurses and social workers.  

Author: Sanna Camara