By Omar Baah
ASB Clinic, commonly called German Clinic on Friday commemorated 20 years of humanitarian service in The Gambia. The Dippakunda based clinic has been operating in the country for the past twenty years, offering most of its services free of charge. Last month, a team of German doctors conducted more 50 surgeries of different complications free of charge. The clinic is also making arrangements to airlift some patients to Germany for further medical treatments also free of charge.
Residents of Dippakunda commended the management of the clinic for the tremendous services they continue to render to Gambians.
A founding member of the clinic, Beatrice Weigelt said the clinic started from a humble beginning in 2002, as a wound treatment centre, focusing mainly on dressing but as soon as they started gaining public trust, they expanded their focus to treating more general ailments.
She recalled that in 2005, they joined hands with the national aid’s secretariat, who helped them greatly to build a more elaborate and able hospital with admission beds and a well-equipped laboratory.
“For quite a number of years, we collaborated to work on an HIV project, aimed at preventing HIV transmission from mother to child. We learnt a lot and will always be grateful for the experience of working with NAS,” he said.
The event was also attended by Dr Li, the founder of the annual “face” initiative, which hosts maxillofacial surgeons who operate on cleft palate, tumors, keloids, burns and more. Dr Li and his team has performed over 1000 surgeons free of charge to Gambians since the project started.
“They do this voluntarily, without compensation for their time, flights or even accommodation. They have brought us medical equipment without which our operating theatre would not have the capabilities of today. I also want to express our deepest gratitude to the FACE team- you guys are awesome,” she said.
She also commended the JUMP team who last year completed their third orthopaedic project in The Gambia.
“They work hand in glove with the drive to help charity to supply relief goods via a rally drive from Germany via the Sahara to The Gambia. The Jump team of doctors have now operated over 200 individuals with complex fractures previously untreatable; all free to the Gambian community and without reward from the ASB. We thank both the JUMP and the rally driver team for their selfless efforts,” she added.
She said the clinic has gone through many ups and downs and they could not have survived them without its amasing staff.
“We thank the community, who put their trust in us when they need medical attention. To all our partners here in The Gambia, we are grateful for the collaboration, the guidance and exchange of ideas. We hope for continued success to improve health care,” she said.
A member of the clinic’s board of directors, Victoria Maxwell commended the management for their tireless efforts over the past two decades.
She said the clinic has throughout its existence delivered uninterrupted medical service to the Dippakunda community and Gambians at large.