By Olimatou Coker
The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) has recently unveiled 13 vehicles (5 ambulances and 8 utility cars) supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support their operations.
According to Modou Touray, the Communication Officer of GRCS, 60 million dalasis worth of equipment were donated by IFRC during the pandemic, including the ambulances and the 10 motorcycles that have been recently inaugurated.
Jato Sillah, President Gambia Red Cross Society said a year ago, they struggled with only 3 vehicles and as such, he thanked everyone who had contributed to their success now.
Sillah described this as a timely intervention while assuring the donors that the vehicles will surely and wholly be used for Red Cross services.
He stated that Red Cross volunteers have been engaged in a lot of activities, noting that they do not only respond when disasters occur but deal with the lives and livelihood of human beings.
According to him, Covid-19 is a virus that has come to stay with us and if we are not careful with it, we would end up having a second surge like Europe.
Mr. Sillah highlighted that GRCS is at the forefront of the Covid-19 fight, denying that the Red Cross has received payment for the safe and dignified burial they are doing. “Red Cross is voluntary service”.
“All Gambians should appreciate work done by volunteers who use their resources to offer free services to the needy”, he went on, adding they are always at the front line when people are sleeping.
For his part, Alasan Senghore, Secretary-General GRCS, said Covid-19 is not yet gone and urged Gambians to continue observing WHO and Ministry of Health guidelines by regularly washing hands, wearing face masks, and observing social/physical distancing.
Abdoulie Fye, Program Manager GRCS stated that their various interventions ranging from developing a contingency plan to respond to Covid-19 prior to the country registering its first positive case, countrywide fumigation of schools, markets, public places, the offering of cash support and food aid to households countrywide, provision of cash support to rice growers among others, all geared towards mitigating the impact of Covid-19.
He added that despite all their interventions, they still have a lot to do as a national society and will continue their support to the most vulnerable communities.
Alvina Brauhause, G-Plus Operation Manager said in 2020, responding to Covid-19 has been one of their key supports to the health sector in ensuring effective management of cases and stemming the spread of the disease.
Ms. Brauhauser stated that as of Thursday 22 October 2020, they had transferred 173 cases of which 109 are male and 64 female.