The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Gambia and Bangladesh Government have signed an agreement for the establishment of a new neonatal intensive care unit at the AFPRC General Hospital in Farafenni.
The Deputy Permanent Secretary Technical at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Chief Executive Officer of the AFPRC General Hospital in Farafenni, Janko Gimbara and Mamadi Cham respectively, signed on behalf of the Gambia Government, while Dr Azharul Islam Khan, Chief Physician and Head of International Centre for Diarrhea Diseases Research Hospital in Bangladesh signed on behalf of the Bangladesh government.
The signing ceremony was held on the sidelines of a three-day validation workshop in Banjul organised to outline things that need to be done, both the work plan, as well as equipment for the project. It was presided over by the Minister of Health and Social Welfare of the Gambia Omar Sey and Sameh Hussein from the Capacity Development Department of International Development Bank.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Health Minister, Omar Sey said the Gambia Government under the leadership of President Jammeh is committed to bringing quality health care delivery to the doorsteps of every Gambian. He thanked the health workers for always making best use of the opportunities to partner for the development of the Gambian health sector whenever they attended international meetings.
He explained that the project is in fulfillment of a meeting in Bangladesh in 2015 during which Dr. Mamadi Cham, CEO of AFPRC General Hospital in Farafenni, represented The Gambia and wrote a proposal on behalf of the Gambia Government to the people of Bangladesh on the need for having another neonatal intensive care unit in Farafenni. This, according to him was accepted and the signing is in fulfillment of that.
“The implementation starts in January 2017,” the Minister informed and thanked the Bangladesh team and the management of the AFPRC General Hospital in Farafenni for this important meeting.
Sameh Hussein from the IDB Capacity Development Department hailed the Minister of Health and Social Welfare for the exceptional supports to their mission, saying that goes to show how the Government of The Gambia is committed to addressing the challenging gaps in its health sector.
He spoke of the Government’s readiness and willing to use new ways and means to address the situation in health sector.
“The last few days were very interactive with the participants and we benefitted from their comments and views towards improving the project. We have all their reports as well as financial proposal accepted. We have reached a milestone in the project,” he said.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Deputy Permanent Secretary Technical at the Health Ministry of the Gambia, Janko Gimbara, assured of his Ministry’s commitment in providing quality health services to the people of The Gambia.
He indicated that the neonatal intensive care service is limited only in the Greater Banjul Area, and so establishing one at the AFPRC General Hospital he said could not have come at a better time. “This is coming at a time when the Government through the Ministry of Health is revolutionising the health sector as well as trying to expand the service delivery to all corners of the country,” he said.
The CEO of Farafenni AFPRC General Hospital, Mamadi Cham pointed out that it is commitment and dedication that will move the health sector from one stage to another and not just verbal commitment but also action.
by Arfang MS Camara