By: Binta Jaiteh
The National Assembly Member for Foni Kansala has opined that the Minister of Health should familiarize himself with the deficiencies of the Gambia’s health sector by visiting hospitals and major health centres.
“It’s worrying. Medication is a problem at Bwiam Hospital. The latest Scientific apparatus is a problem for institutions,” NAM Almamy Gibba lamented as he spoke to the press during the health caravan that he spearheaded in his constituency over the weekend.
According to the Foni Kansala lawmaker, Gambia’s healthcare institutions are battling chronic shortages of medications and apparatuses to deliver quality healthcare services.
Gibba explained that the underinvestment in the health sector is affecting the quality of health services at almost all the hospitals and major health centres across the country.
“You go Ndemban, Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH), Brikama Health Centre, Bansang and Farafennigeneral hospitals… it’s definitely worrisome,” he rued.
He advised the health minister Dr. Ahmad Lamin Samateh to be vigilant by embarking on familiarization visits to healthcare facilities.
“I think the minister should be on his toes and see for himselfthe happenings in these general hospitals or major health centres. But if you sit in the office, you don’t follow them, they do as they wish,” the Kansala NAM said.
Meanwhile, Helpers for Health over the weekend conducted a day-long medical screening in Sangajor in Foni Kansala.
The initiative provided the constituents with the rare opportunity for free blood pressure, blood sugar, Hepatitis B, breast cancer examination and urine analysis.
Patients have been diagnosed by doctors and appropriate treatments prescribed. Nurses were also on hand to attend to minor health issues.
“Sometimes you go to Bwiam hospital… no bed, medication is a problem…cheap, cheap medical utilities are a problem for you,” Gibba explained.
“From here to Bwiam is about 15km, Brikama is about 100km plus and Banjul is about 100km plus. You have only one major hospital in Bwiam. Apart from that you have no clinics or pharmacies. Nothing absolutely,” he added.
“Sangajor is the centre. It (free screening) could pay a dividend to the people. We have 10 specialised doctors to make sure they help their own people. As far as we are concerned, this is a success,” he enthused.