Aug 20, 2009, 8:15 AM
A four-man medical team from Humanity First Organisation in the UK and Canada are on a weeklong visit to The Gambia.
The delegation is in the country to render more humanitarian services to patients and the health sector in general.
The team is comprised of Dr. Shahnawaz Rasheed, a surgeon, Mr. Dominic Morgan, a senior operation manager, paramedical service, Dr. Asif Hamid, dentist, oral and a surgeon, all from the UK and Dr Azhar Ahmad, a surgeon form Canada.
Humanity First is a non-religious, political international organization, based in over 40 countries around the world, with the sole aim of helping the needy without any need for financial reward.
Dr. Shahnawaz, who spoke to this reporter in an interview yesterday at Ahmadiyya Hospital in Tallinding, said the team is on a volunteer mission.
He said he has been working in The Gambia for 15 years and noted that “Humanity First has been based in The Gambia about a decade ago, embarking on educational, social welfare projects, skills training, among others.”
“It has an IT centre and school and has been supporting children, by offering scholarship packages,” said the team leader.
Dr. Shahnawaz said they wanted to help in different areas of medics, such as emergency medical care, trauma and other diseases. “What we found here is that the Gambian people are supportive of our aims,” he said, as he expressed optimism to continue working to help thousands of people.
Asked about the activities of Humanity First organisation in The Gambia, he said, the works of Humanity First here in The Gambia is fantastic and productive.
“We are not doing our work for show and reward, what we are doing is to be effective and to help,” Dr Shahnawaz.
He said an assessment have been done by the Gambian team here on the needy, visiting health centres, speaking to doctors, nurses and other health workers and patients.
He said the commitment for one to be the best in health care is clearly shown by the Gambian people. “We are very impressed with the doctors, conditions and the authorities with the commitment to improving the health of the nation,” he stated.
While assuring that after the visit more would be coming to look into clinical areas, such as emergency, surgery and new born baby care, Dry Shahnawaz said, they have been also running disaster response operations for many years.
Asked how soon they would be back to The Gambia, he said, “am not sure when butwe hope to have three to four teams coming in a year and we looking to explore the possibility of using IT for ongoing educational projects.”