By Binta Jaiteh
Dr. Lamin Jaiteh Head of the Cardiology Unit at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) has disclosed that based on the data available cardiovascular metabolic diseases combined are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the Gambia.
He revealed this during the inauguration of the new Cardiology Unit at EFSTH in Banjul, a project funded by a charitable organization in Norway.
According to him, this accounts for more than 55% of admission annually and jointly contributes to about 69% of total death. These alarming figures, he said, call for a more concerted effort towards high-quality specialized cardiac care.
He said the project is in phases and phase 1 is completed and the unit will focus on operational excellence as well as excellence in clinical outcomes based on patient-centered philosophy.
Again, he said, the Cardiology Unit project was funded by NORWAY charitable organization called ScanAid International and it was conceived in April 2019, they raised a sum of D60 million in five years to build a cardiology unit in the hospital.
He talked about the importance of the project to the country as the Gambia is faced with a duel burden of diseases while continuing to fight infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, HIV, respiratory diseases, and non-communicable diseases which are rising at an alarming stage.
Dr Lamin Samateh, Minister of Health added that the welfare of the heart is very important saying without the heart human beings will not leave according to statistics 29% of Gambians have hypertension and 7.8% with diabetes adding that these are silent killers.
Margaret W. Olseng, NORGAM representative explained that their organization is a small one that intends to help and bring a better health system to the Gambians.
She expressed the organization’s honor and gratitude to make sure health care is delivered to the citizens.
Dr. Ammar Al Jafari, Chief Medical Director said the Gambia has decided to change the health sector and through commitment and support, they will achieve their aims.
However, with the inauguration of this new unit, he said a lot of lives will be saved, and thanks to ScanAid for this great support to the Gambian people.