By Olimatou Coker
Africmed Clinic, MFH Group, and Matar Boye, a businessman have recently handed over medical items to The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) for onward handing over to Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) Red Cross Link who embarked on a community health fair in Latrikunda German over the weekend.
The presentation was held at the GRCS headquarters in Kanifing.
The Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) Red Cross Link in partnership with the Ministry of Health will organize a free screening for diabetes, hypertension, and body mass index, eye screening, Covid-19 vaccination, and voluntary Covid-19 testing at Ahmed Clinic ground in Latrikunda German for free.
Speaking, Rohey Kargbo, treasurer for Voluntary Aid Detachment, said they have been embarking on different programs and projects within the communities in upcountry and the Greater Banjul Area.
She added that 2 years ago they held a successful health fair in Njawara where over 2800 patients were seen.
She mentioned that some of the patients seen on the day confirmed to them that they had not seen a doctor for years but were given dignified care.
She said they aim to have the health fair yearly but due to Covid-19, it could not be organized last year.
Dr. Omar Jagne, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Africmed Clinic, said the need for healthcare in the Gambia is the biggest problem, saying that one can have all the money they need but when they have an accident or heart attack beyond Brikama, they are in a big problem.
This, he said, is because of what is available at hospitals beyond Brikama, highlighting that we cannot continue to live like this after over 50 years of independence.
He stated that it is possible to set up proper emergency units as well as equip ambulances with needed medical items.
According to Dr. Jagne, the cost of one Pajero vehicle is more than the cost of a whole emergency unit for a hospital and therefore called for attitudinal change towards our health sector.
“We must develop a culture of sustainability,” he said, while assuring VAD of their assistance whenever and wherever they can.
He noted that people must develop a culture of taking care of their health by regularly going for checkups but must also be educated.
“Every Gambian must at least have his/her urine, sugar, and blood pressure tested once a year,” he advised.
Dr. Jagne said VAD are trying their best while thanking them for such an initiative.
Alasan Senghore, Secretary-General of the Gambia Red Cross Society, said during the first wave of the Covid-19 outbreak there was not much information about the virus and they supported Government through the Ministry of Health with their 2 fully equipped ambulances at the time to transfer patients.