The World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), on Monday presented medical equipment to The Gambia government through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare as a support to the country’s efforts in preparedness and control of all health emergencies.
The materials presented include 10kg powder soaps, soap bar boxes, hand sanitizers both big and small bottles, veronica buckets, tap heads, bleaches, bed sheets and pillows, plastic slippers, mattresses, beds, hangers for disinfected boots, operation laps, bed pans, urine bottles, sputum cups, vomit bowls, drip stands, wheel chairs, chairs, heavy duty gloves, tooth brushes, wellington boots, calibrated nursing sag, amongst others.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony at the Central Medical Stores in Kotu, the WHO Country Representative Dr. Charles Segoe-Moses, said the this presentation is in support to the country’s preparedness and response to health emergencies.
He assured that the donation is an ongoing effort, which they were embarking with other UN agencies to help the country in providing quality health service needs to its people. He added that some of these materials will be distributed to the six newly built points of entry facilities, upgraded and newly built hospitals and health centres in the country.
The Health Minister, Dr. Omar Sey said that the Ebola outbreak was a wakeup call to all the West African countries and The Gambia has been very conscious in setting up a preparedness plan to act quickly and respond in case of any emergency.
“We cannot escape or hold everything but is also good that we came out in setting up a National Preparedness and Response Plan for any emergencies,” he affirmed, noting that The Gambia government cannot do it all alone. He, thus, called for support from other partners to prevent the country from any health hazard.
Dr. Sey further added that the Ministry is very happy to partner with the WHO and other UN agencies in complementing the efforts of the government in trying to prevent the country from any form of deadly and dangerous diseases.
He thanked the WHO, UNDP, and UNICEF for their continued support to the country, while promising them to make best use of the materials to serve its intended purpose.
Dr. Patrick Abok, WHO Technical Officer, Health Security and Emergency, said they are partnering and collaborating with The Gambia government to act fast in the preparedness and response to health emergencies. He thanked The Gambia government for acting very fast in setting up a preparedness plan for emergencies in the country.
Malang Fofana, representing the Project Coordination Unit of the Ministry, said this development came after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the WHO to strengthen the country’s health service needs.
He added that it is their wish to bring quality health service to the doorstep of every Gambian, noting that this project is built on the dictates of the National Preparedness Plan Act.
Abdoulie Camara, Public Health Emergency Cordinator, said the donated materials will bring an opportunity for the Health Ministry to help strengthen the health system in its preparedness and response strategies.
by Arfang MS Camara