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Bennie & Ilona Foundation donates to EFSTH

Jul 4, 2016, 11:24 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

Ilona Foundation in collaboration with Bennie Helpt Gambia Foundation based in Holland Friday donated medical items to the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul.

The donated items included compressors, bandages, dressing materials, plasters, urinary catheters, urinary catcher’s bags, colon plastic bags, labor materials, adult pads, medicines, pipette tips, culture plates, serologic plates, containers, sample container, feeding bottles, energy drink and nutritious drinks worth fifty thousand Euros.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Adama Sonko, coordinator of Bennie Helpt Gambia Foundation and Ilona, said her foundation was formed by Bennie, a Dutch national, who started the initiation by sending medical items to the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital and other Gambian health centres.

“The Bennie Helpt and Ilona Foundation’s main focus over the years has been helping hospitals by donating materials such as medicines, among many other useful medical items to the various hospitals, that are in need of such materials, to boost their services,” she said.

According to her, the aim of the association is to mobilise all the foundation and individual donors that help The Gambia through donating hospital materials.

She said the new foundation is also an umbrella of the Bennie Helpt The Gambia and Ilona Foundation, adding that the materials they donated to the EFSTH are basically donated by the Ilona and Bennie Helpt Foundation.

She said Ilona is a nurse working in one of the hospitals in Holland and that some of the medical items donated by the foundation were gathered by her as her own contribution to the association.

“I get to know them through my stepmother, and since then I have been given the role of a coordinator in the foundation. When they send the materials to The Gambia, as a medical student myself I normally do my own sorting and ensure that they are in order before shifting them to their numerous locations.”

She added that most of the laboratory materials are normally sent to EFSTH because they have a lab at the hospital.

The previous consignment they sent had new laboratory materials like the pipettes tips and culture plates and so on, she added.

The material they gave to the health centres are mostly cotton and gloves, she continued, adding that they would be distributed to their various health centres.

This was the fourth time they were giving out materials to the EFSTH, and it was the second time they had also given out to other health centres.

“The consignment of the medical items will have a great impact in the hospital because it is a government hospital and they rely on donation and sponsorship; so having donation like this would also be very useful to the theatre. The materials donated will also make the work of the doctors very easy and it will as well improve health care delivery.”

Momodou Lamin Jammeh, EFSTH public relations officer, in his remarks said this year’s donation was the second of its kind from Bennie Helpt towards the country’s biggest hospital.

He thanked the group on behalf of the management and staff of EFSTH for their benevolent humanitarian gesture, adding that the materials given to them would help them to run their services more effectively and on time.

He called on other stakeholders to follow in the footsteps of the Bennie and Ilona Foundation, as the government could not do it all alone.