“In fact The Gambia happens to have a higher rate of deaths due to accidents and injuries than many other countries even in the developed world,” he said at a validation meeting on the National Trauma and Injury Plan (NTIP) held recently.
The issue with trauma and injury is something everyone is prone to, the health minister noted, saying: “We are more prone to development of injury than other diseases because it can happen at any moment.”
He also stated that in 2017 the number of cases of trauma in the country’s major hospitals was about 5,000 and it increased close to 9,000 in 2021.
“We started wondering what is happening because the number almost doubled,” he pointed out, saying: “Most of the injuries are road traffic accidents but there is equally a rise in domestic injuries as well.”
There are a number of factors responsible for this, the minister added: “If you talk about the road traffic accidents, the calibre of vehicles that ply the road need to be looked at – like the big trucks and ‘gelegele’. When those kinds of vehicles get involved in an accident many lives are lost.”
For his part, National Cancer Control program manager Kebba Bojang said the preparation of such an important document was necessitated by the recognition of the urgency for such a plan to optimize care for the injured in The Gambia to reduce mortality and disability rate, especially from road traffic accidents “which is occurring at an alarming rate”.
Dr Bojang added that the plan would represent coordinated effort to create a network of health care facilities strategically linked in compass at 3 levels with linking communication.