Friday, January 27

Gambia Health sector not a dumping place-says Babucarr Saine

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Impact Health – The Gambia (IHTG) is a newly launched NGO in the country with a tax-exempt status (50Ic3) in the United States of America.

The objectives of IHTG, he said, includes the provision of basic medical supplies, providing quality improvement consultation services, offering seminars for mental health and addiction services.

Speaking at the recent launching ceremony of the IHTG held at the Senegambia Beach Hotel, Mr. Saine noted that most of the time, most donors would bring medical equipment that would not work in the country. He regarded that as dumping and not donating.

He added that the IHTG will not do that, saying “our approach is that we ask the institutions what your needs are, send us the list and we send them to you.”

He confirmed that the objectives of IHTG are very much in line with the objectives and the strategic vision of the Ministry of Health – which is to make healthcare services affordable and accessible to every Gambian regardless of location in the country.

Saine said the unique thing about IHTG is the fact that they are not in the country to create a parallel system, neither are they to reinvent the wheel.

He assured IHTG’s partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, Bundung Maternal and Child Hospital to see how best they could collectively work and strengthen these institutions to better deliver to Gambians.

He stated that they have seen in the past that people would come with their own parallel programmes and that as time goes on, they would not survive and that leads to failure and unsustainable projects.

“We have learned from those mistakes and said no, we are not going to create our own system. But we are going to support the Ministry of Heath, we work with them, identify the gaps and we work on that,” he noted affirmed.

He revealed that the IHTG has so far provided essential equipment and supplies to the four hospitals.

“What we have seen is that philanthropists or donors as well call them. They would come and donate and sometimes most of the things they donate are not even useful.”

This is because the list or the need assessments are not done by the beneficiary institutions. Somebody sits somewhere and says ok, maybe this is good for The Gambia; so let us send it to The Gambia,” he opined.

He advanced that Impact Health – The Gambia would collaborate with the Ministry of Health to organise regular professional development courses for their doctors, nurses and other paramedics so that their knowledge will be relevant to the realities.

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