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IOM hands over newly constructed Tanka Tanka facility to MOH

Mar 18, 2022, 1:45 PM | Article By: Sheriff Janko

The International Organisation for Migration(IOM), recently handed over a newly constructed and refurbished ward at Tanka Tanka Psychiatric Hospital to the Ministry of Health at a ceremony held at Salaji.

The move came following the need to create personal space in a mental health setting to make the center a place for refuge for a more effective recovery.

At the handing over ceremony, Ms Fumiko Nagano, chief of mission, IOM-Gambia Office, said that Gambia represents a country of origin, transit and destination for increasing number of domestic and international migrants.

"Since January 2017 up to December 2021, over 6600 migrants have returned to The Gambia, primarily from Libya and other countries in Africa."

IOM Gambia Mission Chief explained further that poorly managed return and reintegration has been recognised as a concern to Peace building as confirmed by the Conflict and Development Analysis (CDA 2019 and 2020) for The Gambia.

"Many returnees are in especially dire and vulnerable economic and psychosocial situations upon return (compared to the non-migrant population) due often to having made significant investments in their journey, which have usually yielded the returns expected."

She added that the country remains significantly challenged in its professional and infrastructural capacities to proactively or even reactively deal with effects of such trauma.

Also speaking, Karamba Keita, deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health, commended the UN Organisation for the intervention, which he described as timely and worthwhile.

"The Ministry would want to convey sincerely thanks and appreciation to both the IOM and the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund for assisting us to have this magnificent structure."

DPS assured that the facility would be taken good care of for it to serve its purpose.

Mustapha Bittaye, director, Health Service at the Ministry of Health, acknowledged the tremendous support the Ministry continues to receive from the UN system.

"As a Ministry and the one responsible for service delivery, we are indeed elated to have this kind of support."

Bittaye indicated that in mental health there are different estimates.

"Sometimes when we read the numbers we are really worried about the amount of support or resources we need to ensure that the basic needs are met."

He reminded that as a Ministry they have competing services, adding this support is not only useful, but timely and that the Ministry is very much appreciative of it.

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