#Article (Archive)

US Diplomat hails Mercy Ship free surgery contribution to health sector

Mar 21, 2011, 1:18 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

United States ambassador to the Gambia Pamela Ann White has hailed what she described as a humanitarian contribution by visiting officials of Mercy Ship, who are in the country to offer free medical treatment to the people, and assist the country's health sector.

Ms White was speaking Friday when she hosted a team of 22 doctors and surgeons of Mercy Ship to a reception held at her residence in Fajara in honour.

Mercy Ship operates as a hospital ship, and land-based teams provide primary medical care, relief aid and community support to the most impoverished people on earth, free of charge.

"The motive of coming is that they don't only transform faces, but they also transform lives and they make people look like better persons. We honour officials of the Mercy Ship for offering free medical care to the Gambians at no cost," Ambassador White told a well-attended reception.

The head of the Mercy Ship delegation, Dr Tony Giles, stated that Mercy Ship is an organization formed by Christians to offer their love for humanity, through providing free medical assistance in the form of surgery and training nurses on the services they offer.

According him, he has seen a lot of dedication in the people he is working with at RVTH, noting that The Gambia is working hard to improve things.

"I see a lot of improvement in the past decade, and I’m sure that it is due to hard work and dedication, and I hope those in the government will continue to do good so that if we come, in the next ten years, we can see other improvements, especially in the country’s health delivery system," Dr. Giles, a specialist in reconstructing head and neck injuries after an accident, told the gathering.

Speaking during a post-reception interview, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Edward Gomez, commended Mercy Ship on behalf of the Gambia government for choosing The Gambia to offer free medical care.

"These people left their land to come to The Gambia to offer help to those who really need help, especially children, and to transform their lives. Their cause is a worthy one, and an amazing sense of humanitarian work," Gomez added.

The reception was attended by government official, religious leaders, US Embassy officials, as well as members of the media fraternity.

Mercy Ship serves those most in need of healthcare and relief aid in the world's poorest countries.

Thousands of children are affected annually from easily correctable birth defects such as cleft palates and lips.