The advent of the July 22nd Revolution has brought about significant transformations in The Gambia. And of all the sectors that have undergone tremendous developments since President Jammeh assumed the mantle of the country’s stewardship, the all-important health sector stands prominent.
Prior to the coming into being of the Second Republic, health facilities were few and far between in the country with the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (formally Royal Victoria Hospital) and Bansang Hospital, the only referral hospitals in existence. The picture looks completely differently now as far flung settlements all enjoy affordable and accessible health care delivery thanks to the Jammeh administration.
As the country celebrates the 22nd anniversary of the Revolution, The Daily Observer sounded the opinions of people from different walks of life on the glorious Revolution.
Momodou Lamin S Bah, a youth activist said the July 22nd has brought health to the doorstep of Gambians, making reference to the massive investments made in the sector. Bah, who hails from Mayork in the West Coast Region, said until now, he never thought his native village would even benefit from a health facility.
Describing the July 22nd revolution as a blessing to Gambians, Bah cited the many qualified homegrown doctors that continue to horn their medical skills at the School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences of the University of The Gambia as one of the success stories of President Jammeh’s leadership.
Ida Ndure, APRC Councillor for Sanyang Ward said the people of Kombo South are very much grateful to President Jammeh, adding that in the area of health, many villages can now boast of a good facility. With ambulances now available, she said patient referral is easier.
Ebrima Sanyang, a resident of Bundung, pointed to the Jammeh Foundation for Peace Hospital in his community as one out of the many development initiatives heralded by the Revolution.
Adama Mbye, Operations/Stores Manager at the EFSTH said the neonatal ward of the Hospital has been upgraded both in terms of medication, materials and staff training. He also revealed that the hemodialysis unit of the hospital is offering services to patients free of charge to the less privileged.
“Before, patients go overseas for dialysis treatment but that’s a thing of the past now. Today 80% of optimethic cases are done in the country as the hospital also conducts neurosurgery.’’
Sheriff Sillah of Sabi said the people of Sabi are highly indebted to the President for transforming Sabi. “It is because of the peace in the country that we are enjoying a good road network today and a health facility which is greatly helping people here. We don’t need to travel to Basse for medical treatment.”
In the cosmopolitan town of Farafenni in the North Bank Region, Demba Gaye, who was very happy talking to the Daily Observer said, “I am overwhelmed by the unprecedented success in the health sector. The construction of the Farafenni Hospital is historic and continues to benefit both Gambians and Senegalese.”
Oumou Bah of Soma in the Lower River Region was quite appreciative of the number of health facilities across the country. “With the Revolution, the health of Gambians has improved massively and we just need to thank the leadership.”
Aminata Jamfo of Sankulay Kunda in the Central River Region said, “We [rural women] thank God for his leadership because the Revolution has enhanced the sector. We have good health facilities in CRR and we are hoping for more under his leadership.”
She concluded by saying that health facilities are more accessible and affordable today than 22 years ago.
by Momodou Faal & Jainaba .D.Jatta