The first batch of five children have returned home and reunited with their families after undergoing successful congenital heart disease treatment at the Save a Child Hospital (SACH) in Israel.
The treatment was made possible thanks to the timely intervention of the First Lady, Her Excellency Madam Zineb Yahya Jammeh, through her Operation Save the Children Foundation (OSCF) in partnership with SACH.
The First Lady committed D2.5M to have seven children undergo the treatment accompanied by two medical doctors and parents. The sponsorship included cost of treatment, travel for patients and escorts, lodging, feeding and cost of travel for the escorting nurse.
The quintet is Haddijatou Langley, 12; Sanusey Demba, 4; Hamza Ceesay, 2; Jainaba Touray, 12; and Naffie Sonko, 1. Muhammed Sillmeh, and Hawa Suwareh, part of the second batch left the country last month.
Speaking at a welcoming event, Dr. Fatou Lamin Faye, Minister of Basic and Secondary Education, emphasised the importance the First Lady attaches to the welfare of children. He also extolled the President for always protecting the interest of Gambian children.
Dr. Lamin Faye also extoled Mr. Paul Charney, OSCF Goodwill Ambassador and Managing Director of Landhold Company Ltd who contributed £10,000 and visited the children in Israel from the 23rd to 26th May 2016.
Fatou Mass Jobe, the Executive Director of OSCF commended the First Lady for her intervention and the SACH for the partnership. She also thanked all those who supported the initiative.
Mr. Simon Fisher, Executive Director of SACH lauded the partnership between his Hospital and the First Lady’s Foundation. Fisher also expressed optimism that this would be the beginning of a long-term partnership between the two institutions.
“We believe that together we can do so many things for the children of The Gambia suffering from heart disease, be it by medical treatment in
Israel or through training opportunities for Gambian physicians in Israel,” he stated, adding that SACH, has so far treated 4000 children from
different countries around the world.
Haddijatou Langley, who spoke on behalf of the patients expressed gratitude to the First Lady for restoring their health. She prayed for her long life and good health.
Adama Susso, a parent, also thanked the First Lady for bringing back joy to their families. According to her, it would have been difficult to fund the treatment of the children without the First Lady’s intervention.
Speaker after speaker, among them Fanta Bai Secka, Director of Department of Social Welfare: Momodou Njai of the Health Ministry, Njundu Drammeh of Child Protection Alliance, Samba Ceesay of the Health Ministry and Professor Khalil of the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, all echoed similar sentiments in saluting the First Lady.
by Alieu Ceesay