The Turkish Government, through the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) on Tuesday donated brand new medical equipment worth $100,000 to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
The donated items include sick beds, wheel chairs, hemoglobin test meter, and thermometers, among others.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony at the Central Medical Store in Kotu, Ambassador Ergin Soner of Turkey said the donation would further galvanize the brotherly and friendly ties between The Gambia and Turkey. “A lot more is in the pipeline; Gambia deserves the best of the best but not second hand or used materials,“ he said.
Ambassador Soner added that these valuable materials were secured by TIKA for The Gambia upon a request from the Gambian side. He added that the donated materials are intended for the Kerewan, Jarrol, Kuntaur, Dankunku and Soma Health Centres.
He said it is apparent that the main idea of distributing these materials throughout the country is to help The Gambia Government in its efforts to upgrade the medical system and infrastructure of these health centers.
“By doing so, it will also drastically reduce the burden on the rural people, especially those in small villages, in their quest to have access to basic medical needs,” he added.
Dwelling on the bilateral relations between Turkey and The Gambia, Ambassador Soner affirmed that the relationship has been cordial and friendly over the past years. He further stated that the donation reminds them that the social sectors of this country are not forgotten in these relations.
“I can proudly state that since the establishment of the Turkish Embassy in Banjul five years back, many Gambians have undergone training in Turkey. Others [have] received treatment in various hospitals in Turkey; I have the conviction that these medical items will be used for their intended purpose and will also strengthen the capacity of The Gambia’s health system particularly in the rural areas,” he affirmed “From my experience and knowledge in The Gambia, I would also like to point out that The Gambia will surely attain its goals in the health sector.”
He asserted that Turkey will continue to contribute to the Gambia’s development goals both in the scope of capacity building trainings and other material or equipment donations.
The Minister of Health, Hon. Omar Sey expressed gratitude to the Turkish government and TIKA for the support. He added that his Ministry is currently upgrading the health facilities throughout the country and as a result, the donation would contribute immensely in the process of the upgrading.
Babanding Sabally, Director of Pharmacy at the Ministry of Health thanked the donors, describing the equipment as the best. He added that the equipment would contribute to saving lives, noting that it would be used for its intended purpose.
by Alhagie Babou Jallow
& Binta Jammeh