21 C
City of Banjul
Saturday, February 27, 2021

Accidents on our roads

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Dear editor,

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Last night [Sunday night], a young lady got knocked unconscious crossing the road at the Amsterdam junction in my neighborhood. She got rushed to the hospital and guess what happened when they got there. There was only one nurse in the A & E (Accident and Emergency) Unit. Not a single qualified medical doctor was present. This nurse who seemed to hate her job spent about 5 minutes wearing her gloves alone. To add salt to injury, her supervisor suddenly appears from nowhere and says the patient/victim wouldn’t be ‘touched’ in the absence of a police officer.

Could you imagine! Meanwhile, the patient was laying unconscious on a stretcher with broken legs and excessive bleeding in the head. Before the police could get to the hospital, the girl was pronounced dead. Just like that..! She could’ve been saved if the necessary measures were taken when she initially got to the ‘A&E’ Unit. Besides, what is the essence of having an A&E Unit when accidents can’t be treated as emergencies? What is wrong with these nurses?! I still can’t wrap my head around how a human being could watch a fellow human die and do absolutely nothing about it, especially after you swore an oath to do exactly the opposite. This incident has rid me of the little confidence I had in our healthcare delivery system. I am sure there are numerous unreported similar scenarios.

The million dollar question is: how much longer are we going to be living under such a climate of fear and uncertainty when our loved ones get down? The average Gambian cannot afford private medical care so this issue has to be looked into.
As expected, the driver at Amsterdam, a careless young man whose parents appear to have failed woefully in his up-bringing, was under the influence of alcohol or some contraband. He tried to run but lost control of the vehicle so he was forced to flee the scene on foot. A few hours later, out of sheer panic I’m guessing, he handed himself over to the police.

The police, instead of doing their job (which I can’t tell them), decided to civilly handle the matter. That maybe because the driver’s father is a police commissioner. Do these people even have a conscience? Smh. The young lady is gone and there’s nothing one can do about it. It’s a huge loss to her family which makes them the only losers in this equation. However, justice needs to be served.

This will at least serve as some form of consolation to them and a warning to the rest of the young light-heads playing with cars on the highways. With this attitude and the maslaha-syndrome, The Gambia has a long way to go. A very long way. I still can’t believe that the case has been dropped even before the victim is laid to rest. That would’ve been totally acceptable if the driver was sober at the time of the hit-and-run. But under these circumstances, he must face the wrath of the law.
I would now like to present my sincere condolences to Kebs Bojang and his entire family. May the soul of the departed rest in perfect peace. This is a great loss to the entire neighborhood. Mama Sally was an embodiment of life itself. Cheerful, meek and always smiling. May Allah welcome her in the highest of Jannah in this Holy Month. Ameen..!
Now you understand why this is personal to me. My best friend’s 18 year-old sister was the victim. This issue with car accidents and police reports has to be looked into. We can’t keep losing our lives in the corridors of the A&E units unattended to. It’s completely unacceptable. Some of these medical practitioners need to do their jobs or find something else to do. Enough is enough!

Malima Ceesay


Can Africa claim the 21st Century?

Dear editor,

About 57 years ago the first whiff of change blew across the African continent. Hope, optimism, independence and freedom were writ large on hearts and walls. She had leaders who had vision, preoccupied with nothing but the development and progress of their countries and the total liberation of the Continent. “Seek ye first the political kingdom” the great African patriarch, Nkrumah, bellowed. By the 1970s, the “political kingdom” came to the most part but…..
It is said the 21st Century belongs to Africa, or rather it is Africa’s. It is 17 years into the 21st Century. Can Africa really claim the 21st Century? Are the signs evident? What are they? Are the sub structures erected? What are they? What must be put in place? Who should play the important roles? Internal or external? Who has failed Africa? What has been and continues to be put curse?
57 years on, ours remain a chequered history. We have the “demographic dividend” on our side. Will we, won’t we? The other indices of development are an embarrassment to mention. We are home to the world’s mineral and human resources but also home to the poorest and unhealthiest of the poor. Ghana’s per capita was nearly the same as South Korea in the 1960s. Incomparable today…. The Gambia is still, on the development scoreboard the “improbable nation”.
Can Africa still claim the 21st Century?

Njundu Drammeh

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