Jan 10, 2011, 10:50 AM
Omar Dibba, the subject matter specialist at National Assembly, who was also
part of the tour championed by Select Committee on Health, Women, Children,
Disaster, Humanitarian Relief and Refugees, has called on the Regional Health
Directorate of West Coast Region to deploy more public health officers at the
Giboroh Border Post within 48 hours, amid confirmed coronavirus cases in
The committee has just concluded a two day inspection at Gambia’s international entry points in a bid to ascertain the scale of measures and preparedness advanced by the Ministry of Health.
He further urged that similar measures be applied to all other borders posts across the country with mobility for easy movement so that The Gambia can be safe from COVID-19.
Ousman Sillah, National Assembly Member for Banjul North and the committee’s chairman commended the Ministry of Health for the good work they have been doing in terms of preparation towards the coronavirus. He therefore encouraged them to do more “because the danger attached to the virus is serious and for that being the reason, all the health structures across the country should be fully equipped for any cases of the virus.”
Musa Amul Nyassi, the National Assembly Member (NAM) for Foni Kansala, advised the health officials at the (EFSTH) to include emergency budget in their annual budget for emergency purposes.
The committee’s first engagement started at the Banjul Seaport where they had discussions with the principal public health officer, Saika Touray, who described the committee’s visit very timely.
According to Mr. Touray, the issue of coronavirus is everybody’s responsibility.
Mr. Touray informed the members that his office was working closely with the port officials and all the security sectors that are working at the seaport to making sure that all are saved from coronavirus.
Catherine Nying, the deputy director at the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), said that when they heard the news about the coronavirus, the management has formed an emergency team involving health officials at the Banjul International Airport to monitor the situation since January.
Jerreh Camara, a public health officer at the Banjul International Airport, stated that since they started the screening process at the airport, they haven’t come across any suspected cases of the virus.
Bakary Manga, the public health officer stationed at the Giboroh Border Post told lawmakers that the materials that were provided for him to do the screening at the border post were not sufficient for him to do his work as expected.
Mr. Manga further told the committee that he was the only health officer at the border in Giboroh, citing human resources as the major challenge. “It will be very difficult to identify the symptoms of the coronavirus from the people that are entering the country,” he admits.
Mr. Momodou Sowe, the public health officer at the Amdallai Border Post informed the committee that he was working closely with the Gambian and Senegalese security officers in order to protect the two nations from the coronavirus. He said: “When a confirmed case was reported in Senegal, the Ministry of Health put all the necessary measures so that The Gambia can be protected.”
Dr. Charles A. Roberts, at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) told the lawmakers that a lot has been done by the government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Health in order to protect the well-being of Gambians.
He said that the Ministry of Health is doing everything possible in making sure that any suspected case is carefully handled for the betterment of the country and well-being of the citizenry.