Feb 1, 2011, 1:38 PM
The items donated to the Operation Save the Children Foundation (OSCF) and meant for the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH), included general purpose aprons, two step prep applicator, clip nose plastic, chairs, wooden rocker, general gowns and cold packs and other medical materials.
At a presentation held at the office of the Vice President yesterday, the board chairperson of ChildFund, Amie Colley Mbye, in her statement, said: “We all know that better health is central in human happiness and well-being. It also makes an important contribution to economic progress as healthy populations live longer and are more productive, and they save more.”
To achieve this requires pro-poor policies with investment in major areas which require both financial resources and a healthy population, she said.
“For the first time in the history of the country, villages enjoy the services of a doctor very close to their localities,” she added.
The development had brought confidence in the medical and health services nationally and within the sub-region, to the extent that within the last few years thousands of people have come from neighbouring countries to The Gambia for high-quality healthcare, which is at a very minimal cost not only for The Gambia, but also for people in the sub-region, she stated.
”ChildFund wants to appreciate the government and the leadership for its immense contribution towards the health enterprise and human development in which we are all involved.”
The executive director of the OSCF, Fatou Mas Jobe-Njie, said she was elated as the items donated were quite a lot.
“We have surgical gowns, general gowns, and carpet shoes. We have so many things that we requested for. They only give us things that we want and not what they think is best for us,” she said.
Professor MIA Khalil, in his remarks, said: “The children’s ward and the children’s department of the hospital is now becoming “one of the world class departments” which can compete with any teaching hospital in the sub-region.”
“We at the EFSTH thank you. We thank the First Lady and the Executive Director of the OSCF for that. We can say this will be a nucleus for future establishing of a national children’s hospital. We thank you [the First Lady] for your support,” he added.
The Vice President and Womens’ Affairs Minister, who is also the vice chairperson of the OSCF, Isatou Njie-Saidy, described ChildFund as an organisation that “never fails us”.
“They always give us things with quality. I don’t know the cost of these [items] but it is a lot of money,” the VP said.
Assuring the Fund that the donated items would be put into good use, Mrs Njie-Saidy informed them of the government’s new system, to ensure all bio-medical equipment is used for the right purpose.
“We want to thank you most profoundly, and we hope you continue to partner with us,” she said.
The director of Pharmacy Services, Babanding Sabally, said: “We at Health are very blessed to have a First Lady who puts health at the heart of everything she is doing, and want to assure her that her intervention is going without being unnoticed because it’s making an impact on our health indicators. We are seeing reduction in most of our health indicators such as maternal mortality and children’s mortality. And this is a direct translation of her intervention.”
He assured the donors that the items donated would be “put into good use” and would reach the target population.
“Not only that,” he added, “We will monitor their use at the facilities they are donated to.”