The residents of Sare Gubu Basirou village in the Sandu District, Upper River Region (URR), have called on the government through the Ministry of Health to transform their weekly health facility to a standard health centre.
Sare Gubu Basirou is a remote village. It is about 8 kilometers away from Diabugu Batapa and over 350 KM away from Banjul, the country’s capital city.
The community has a weekly health centre in a well-built structure but residents want the facility to be transformed into a standard health centre, where patients within the area can get medical attention.
Sare Gubu Basirou is surrounded by Sinchu Muntaga, Sare Sillereh and Barinabe villages among others. However, residents of these villages often travel to Diabugu Batapa Health Centre to get medical services.
Speaking to The Point exclusively at Sare Gubu Basirou, Muhammed S. Bah, the president of Sare Gubu Basirou Students Association (SGSA), said there was a need for government to provide them with a standard health facility to make sure residents get medication at their doorsteps.
“We have a centre already but now we want the government to bring us medical personnel who will station in the centre to attend patients,” he said.
Mr. Bah said provision of health facilities to the community would ease their access to medication as well reduce the burden on Diabugu Batapa Health Facility.
He called on government, philanthropists and development partners to provide them with a standard health facility to improve their living standard.
Alh. Mahamadou Lamin Bah, the village’s imam, also called on the government to transform the centre into a standard health facility in order to ensure access to medical services.
“Providing the community with a health facility would help residents of Sare Gubu Basirou and the satellite villages. Because they will stop travelling for 8 KM to get medical attention,” he said.
Jainaba Jallow, women rep., said women in the area, especially pregnant women and lactating mothers often travel for long distances to get medical attention. She called on the government to provide them with a health facility.
“As long as we have the structure in place, now we want the government to deploy medical personnel and medical apparatus in the facility,” she said.
Bah said getting a health facility in the village would prevent women from travelling to far distance to get attention.
Ebrima D. Bah, aliased Khalipha, a teacher at Sare Gubu Basirou Lower Basic School, said: “Getting a standard health facility will help us (the school) because anytime a pupil gets sick at the school, we have to write and send him or her to Diabugu Batapa Health Facility for medical attention. This is definitely far.”
He said considering the poor condition of the road linking the village to the health facility, there is a greater need for the government to provide the village with a health facility to help both residents and school going children.
Giving legal perspective on this matter, Tijan B. Bah, law student at the University of The Gambia (UTG), said residents of the area are bonafide citizens of The Gambia and have the right to health care facilities.
Bah added the state is under an obligation under the African Charter on Human and People’s Right (ACHPR) to provide healthcare facilities to its citizens.
ARTICLE 16 of ACHPR states that “every individual shall have the right to enjoy the best attainable state of physical and mental health.”
“State Parties to the present Charter shall take the necessary measures to protect the health of their people and to ensure that they receive medical attention when they are sick.