Over 600 patients were evaluated and treated by over 30 volunteers. There were free wide ranging services from routine medical checkups, blood pressure screenings, blood sugar testing and diabetic screenings, voluntary HIV counseling and testing, eye and vision screenings, and health education.
These services were provided by a team of volunteers led by Dr. Lamin Ceesay comprising of medical doctors, nurses, midwives, eye specialist, HIV and AIDS counsellors, public health officers, lab technicians, and support staff. Nema Kaira Kafo and the entire community of Nema Village expressed their appreciation of the efforts and participation of the volunteers and the keen interest in making this a model program in the country.
A successful healthcare initiative must have partners along the way, the annual program receives strong collaborations from the Nema Kaira Kafo, The Gambia College School of Nursing and Midwifery intake of 1999, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, National AIDS Secretariat, the National Eye Care Program, the Mansakonko Regional Health Team, Kwinella Health Centre, and the Mansakonko Area Council.
In addition to the benefit of making people excited about preventative care, the day provided an opportunity for the volunteers to give back to our communities, provide cost free way to access care, and foster community involvement in health care.
The event was graced by the Chairman of Mansakonko Area Coincil who expressed his appreciation to the organizers and volunteers in complementing local and central governments efforts. Momodou Jawara, chairman of Nema Kaira Kafo thanked the organizers and volunteers and looked forward to more collaboration in the coming years.
Free clinics certainly are not the permanent fix to our healthcare problems, but community efforts of this kind may lead to incremental successes in addressing them. We thank our collaborating partners, our volunteers, and the community of Nema and its surrounding villages for their participation. We are looking forward to next year’s edition.