By Omar Bah
The Gambia on Monday received an assortment of different medical supplies from WHO, ECOWAS and one Amie Jarjue, a Gambian based in the United Kingdom worth over D15 million.
The materials included equipment procured directly by WHO worth over a $100, 000 of 4 ventilators and accessories consisting of ventilator trolleys, air compressors and spare parts.
The Republic of South Korea also through WHO provided Covid-19 test kits worth nearly $200, 000 consisting of 200 Real-Time Detection Kits [RT-PCR] and 192 extraction kits; as well as 25 boxes of reasons of reagents for reference samples from the West African Health Organisation [WAHO] worth $3, 700.
ECOWAS also donated test kits and PPEs worth millions of dalasis while Amie Jarjue through her foundation Join Hands 2 Safe a Baby, donated 5 refrigerators worth over D500, 000.
Speaking at the presentation, the WHO country representative, Dr. Desta Tiruneh, said the donation to the national health authorities marks another milestone in supporting The Gambia to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It also demonstrates the partnership and collaboration needed to fight against the pandemic,” Dr Tiruneh said.
The total value of the donated goods which exceed D15.7 will go “a long way in strengthening the joint response by government and partners to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“WHO, on behalf of the UN Agencies and developments continues to assure the government of The Gambia of full support of health stakeholders in containing and managing the current health emergency,” he said.
He said whilst the Gambia continues to perform “a remarkable job in enforcing Covid-19 public health regulations, it is important to maintain the momentum to curtail the risk of high transmission and ensure constant provision of essential supplies, like oxygen and essential medicines”.
Minister of Health, Ahmadou Lamin Samateh expressed gratitude to all the donors and assured them of the government’s continued partnership and collaboration.
“The government together with its partners is giving the fight against Covid-19 the seriousness it deserves. We will not relent in our efforts to deal with Covid-19 – so the Covid-19 response is even stronger than before in the sense that we learned more about the disease and better equipped to deal with it,” a delighted Minister Samateh said.
He said for the country to be able to deal with the coronavirus properly, people will need to be tested to know their status and their contacts.
Dr Samateh said the country’s testing ability has been strengthened significantly.
While thanking health workers for their tremendous efforts in the fight against Covid-19, he stressed that the government takes the issues of healthcare very seriously.
The ECOWAS country representative, Vabah Gayflor said the sub-regional bloc is committed to approaching all the challenges associated with the coronavirus as a united front. She said the same donation given to The Gambia has been extended to all the sixteen West African countries. She extolled the tremendous efforts of WHO, UN and the European Union towards the continent since the outbreak of coronavirus.