JFP eyes New York cooperation
Monday, March 10, 2008
A fruitful meeting for possible cooperation between Jammeh Foundation for Peace (JFP) and the Pittsford Community Church in Rochester in New York, United States, was on Thursday convened at the JFP head office in Serrekunda.
Two members of the church, Chris Kelly and a Taiwanese cardiologist Dr David Huang, arrived in the country on March 1, alongside a team of medical practitioners from PROHEALTH, a health NGO in Nigeria, to provide free health-care services at the JFP Hospital in Bundung and the State Central Prison at Mile 2.
The two men, accompanied by Dr Patrick Chang, the Taiwanese ambassador to The Gambia, were received at the JFP offices by Ansumana Jammeh, the executive director of the foundation.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr Jammeh briefed the team about the operations of JFP underpinned by vision to make life worth living for the poor and the needy. He said the foundation is inundated with avalanche of applications, seeking for assistance, especially in the area of education and specialised health care.
"We have a lot of application for overseas medical treatment but we do not have the resources to take care of everybody. If we are able to get medications and the people who can take care of those cases, that will be excellent," he said.
The JFP executive director informed the team about the modalities preceding any cooperation with JFP, including a memorandum of understanding. This cropped up after the team expressed interest to formalise and expand relations with JFP.
Mr Jammeh expressed appreciation on behalf of the foundation to the group for helping in treating patients at JFP Hospital and for earmarking medications for the JFP pharmacy.
"We are really appreciative. We thank you for coming to treat patients at your own expenses. You paid your air ticket and transported by yourselves the medications and other valuables only to help those in need," he.
The JFP boss used the opportunity to draw attention to NGOs and individuals who raise money in the name of needy people of The Gambia and unscrupulously divert most of the proceeds to personal use.
For his part, Mr Kelly, who is also a theologian, described their third visit to Banjul since 2006 as successful, confirming that they have also donated biomedical equipment, such as pacemaker to RVTH. He said they also repainted a police station which is part of their community project. He informed the meeting that the team has packages of drugs earmarked for the JFP pharmacy.
Cris Kelly expressed their willingness to formalise cooperation with JFP, noting that they can bring in specialised medical doctors to conduct delicate cases. However, he said the lack special facility for the team had hindered progress in that arrangement, expressing their resolve to successfully work out those logistics in their next trip.
Dr David Huang, a Taiwanese cardiologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center in the United States, confirmed that they have treated patients at both the JFP Hospital and inmates at the State Central Prison. Dr Huang expressed admiration with the hospitality and appreciative nature of Gambians. "We do actually see that kind of relationship of patients-doctors in the US," he added.
He pointed that they will explore possibilities to bring Taiwanese Medical Association in the US to visit Banjul to provide a wide range of health-care services at no cost to the people. He said members of the association have already been to Panama, Haiti, and would hopefully visit the The Gambia.
Dr Patrick Chang, the Taiwanese ambassador to The Gambia, welcomed the discussions, adding that this could evolve into a twinning partnership, reminiscent of RVTH and Taichung Hospital (in Taiwan) cooperation.
Author: by Ebrima Jaw Manneh