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Health Ministry reacts to Mai Fatty’s allegation

May 21, 2020, 12:25 PM | Article By: Arfang M.S. Camara

The Ministry of Health on Tuesday responded to allegations advanced by the leader of The Gambia Moral Congress (GMC), who spoke about the poor conditions of the country’s quarantine centers.

Mai Ahmad Fatty claimed that he found nothing in the room where he was isolated and that only a single meal was served for the day.

However, the director of Health Promotion and Education, Modou Njai, who reacted to Mr. Fatty’s claims, urged the public not to buy Mr. Fatty’s comments as all the quarantine facilities have standard beds, televisions, air conditioning, dining tables, refrigerators, chairs, showers, toilets and room services such as psychosocial support and medical care.

Mr. Njai added that a group of 19 journalists from different media houses visited the quarantine centers on 7 May 2020 when Mr. Fatty and his family were serving their quarantine period.

Njai made it clear that all health personnel at the quarantine, treatment, laboratory centers were provided with personal protective equipment such as face masks and gloves amongst others.

“Even persons under quarantine are provided with face masks throughout their quarantine period,” he said.

Based on his conversation with some frontline health workers while under quarantine, Mr. Fatty said that he realised that some of the health personnel had to borrow money for their families’ daily sustenance.

Responding to that, Njie said that all health workers are civil servants and they are receiving their monthly salaries from The Gambia government.

He added that the government does not give daily sustenance allowance for the upkeep of their families but the Ministry of Health is providing incentives for all frontline health workers including those at the quarantine centers.

“An initial amount has been paid to all those personnel working at the quarantine centers and plans are at an advanced stage for additional payment of incentives to all frontline workers including the personnel at the quarantine facilities.

“The Ministry of Health would like to inform the public that there is no restriction on people under quarantine to be provided with cloths and other basic needs which are channeled by their families through our personnel attached to the centres.”

He noted that persons under quarantine are equally allowed without restrictions to communicate with their families and loved ones through telephones. 

Modou Njie further informed that putting people in quarantine or isolation is mandatory as indicated in the National Public Health Act of (1990) and the International Health Regulations (2005) as the best strategy to avoid further transmission of diseases.

“During the quarantine period, the Ministry of Health ensures the provision of three meals to each person under quarantine as opposed to the claim that only one meal is provided. Mr. Fatty was given the exceptional privilege to cook his choice of meal whenever he feels like doing so.”

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