Monday, March 20

Lack of resources may hamper investigation of rare medical condition

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A retired Gambian public health specialist, Philip Saine, has lamented that the investigation of a rare medical condition among children is being hampered by lack of resources, as health officials complained of lack of adequate petrol and allowances, amongst others.

The Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) on Tuesday disclosed to the public the detection of a rare medical condition among children at the hospital’s Paediatric Outpatient, adding the “serious condition” is already causing death among children.

In an interview with the West Radio on Wednesday, the veteran public health official said: “At this stage, it is early to know what is happening. They are doing things scientifically to come to the conclusion of what is happening.

“They only identified symptoms, which are also very worrying and very rare. It is highly fatal which is also very worrying and very rare. They need thorough laboratory investigation plus epidemiological investigations.”

“They have started the epidemiological investigation, but are being hampered by lack of resources. They are talking of lack of petrol and lack of allowances. This can hamper the investigation necessary. I can also see that they are sending some samples to Dakar. This is also hinting at the inadequacy of our public health laboratory,” he further disclosed.

The veteran public health specialist also said that they would continue to monitor the situation to assess whatever is happening, adding “because it is worrying because of the high fatality rate.”