#Article (Archive)

Telling it as we see it

May 16, 2012, 12:49 PM

How terrible it is for both the authors of the stories and those who have to read them on a regular basis!

We are referring to what seems like the increasing number of cries for help that the journalists of all Gambian newspapers write, and readers read, from people seeking monetary aid to travel overseas for medical treatment.

The process is a difficult one, to say the least, and the costs involved are simply beyond the means of most people.

There are a number of issues which must be addressed.

First, is the process involved in securing a medical report from the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital, RVTH.

This process can sometimes take up to one month to be completed owing to the layers of bureaucracy involved.

When a person or child is as ill as this one month delay in securing a medical report, it can simply be a matter of life or death.

The times involved must be reduced. If the family of the sick individual manages to secure the money and the medical report, there then arises the issue of funding the trip.

The costs involved can be extremely high, but of course nobody wants to see their loved one die; so they stop at nothing to try and raise the money.

One of the ways people try to gather money is through the media and, as a result, people can get some idea of the number of people in this desperate situation.

Many people will ask why better medical treatment is not available in The Gambia. Why must our citizens be forced to beg for help in the newspapers in order to raise the necessary funds to travel abroad for life-saving treatment?

These are very valid questions, and questions which must be answered and addressed. If they are not, our newspapers will continue to be filled with heart-breaking stories of people who are trapped in life and death situations, and depending on the generosity of others to save them.

It would, of course, be unrealistic to expect there to be a simple, quick-fixed solution to this issue, but we need to see more direct, positive action on this issue from government.

Perhaps a government fund could be established that would pay for people to travel overseas for medical treatment, until we have built up the necessary equipment here in The Gambia?

Whatever the solution to the problem, we must try to find it soon, for the sake of those who face, and who may face this terrible situation in the future.

“You won’t find a solution by saying there is no problem.”

William Rotsler