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Health Minister Says ‘Trust Bank is Unique’ As ‘The Gambian Bank’ donates to Tanka Tanka Psychiatric Hospital

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On Monday afternoon, General Manager Oremi Joiner led a team from the bank to hand over D250,000 worth of medications and non-medical materials to the mental hospital.

Speaking at the handing-over ceremony, the Minister of Health, Women and Social Welfare, Dr Omar Sey said:  “I am very elated, and I am always elated to be associated with Trust Bank. I recall when I was in Farafenni as the CEO of the hospital, we used to work under very difficult circumstances. Yet at the time, people used to say we were the only hospital who paid staff salaries on time.  And the secret was very simple: It was because of our relationship with Trust Bank. I always reflect on those positive gains.  There is something unique about Trust bank. They don’t come to you and say give us business, and then we will do this and that. Trust Bank will just come and say, ‘we will do this’, and they will do it. 

“Take the case of the sanatorium, for example. The place was so bad that nobody would even like to mention it before. It was deserted and so dilapidated that nobody would want a patient to even go there. But look at the sanatorium now, you can even sit on the floor and eat because of the efforts of Trust Bank Gambia Limited.  “And again because they are so concerned about the citizenry and what is going on in the country – they are very much aware of the developments going on in the country – they realised that mental health is a neglected tropical disease.  And it is a global challenge. But before we could even think of what to do this year, Trust Bank came and said, ‘we are going to intervene at Tanka Tanka’. What a blessing! And what is the most important thing to note is that the D250,000  was not even part of their 2014 budget. 

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“But they have not stopped there, they are also looking after a very key and vital component of the health service delivery system that is affecting mothers and children, and reproductive health in general – blood transfusion services. I am proud to mention that Trust Bank Gambia Limited is championing our national blood transfusion services. So we should thank Trust Bank Limited. And I am urging everyone to go today and open an account with Trust bank Gambia limited so that the profits generated from investments would be ploughed back for the benefit of the citizenry.” 

Speaking on behalf of the Trust Bank Managing Director, Pa MM Njie, General Manager Joiner stated: “Tanka Tanka Psychiatric Hospital being the only such hospital of its kind is the home for the mentally challenged persons who are our fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters. These patients need our support, love and care for their recovery process either at home or at the hospital. It is for this reason that we at Trust Bank will continue to commit our time, energy and resources for the promotion of quality healthcare delivery system in The Gambia. As the saying goes ‘a healthy mind is a wealthy mind’. As a bank that prides itself with its Gambianness, we would not relent in our efforts to commit financial, material and moral support in supporting meaningful projects and institutions for the betterment of the general public.” 

Registering some of Trust bank’s social and corporate responsibilities since inception in 1997, Mr Joiner enumerated: “Over the years, the bank has injected millions of dalasis into some major health facilities in the country namely: the annual donation to AFPRC Hospital in Farafenni, Basse Health Centre, Gunjur Health Centre, Leman Street Clinic in Banjul, and most recently, the donation of 10 new computers to the Sulayman Junkung Hospital in Bwiam to facilitate the newly-launched community based medical programme being pioneered by the Cuban medical practitioners and the refurbishment and transformation of the sanatorium from a state of disrepair to a modern health facility.” 

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While reaffirming the bank’s commitment to the health sector and also renewing its call for more outreach for Tanka, he urged all to ”remind our families, institutions and our communities to join us in supporting this hospital as we are all affected either directly or indirectly.”

He said as an autochthonous institution, Trust Bank “would like to assure of [its] continued support in any meaningful endeavour that will draw public attention to Tanka to give this important facility the much needed resources to meet the international standards. This will significantly contribute to the recovery process of the patients and for their eventual return to their communities to enable them contribute to national development”. 

Mr Joiner reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to partner with government and other stakeholders to fulfill its role in key areas like health, education, environment and sports. 

The founder of the Tanka Foundation, Anna Bouman said: “When I came to The Gambia in 1996 I visited the old Campama mental home and I thought, these people need a better future. So this is how it started. And now when I see the results here, and also the management and the efforts of everybody, I am very proud to see how it is maintained and I hope that the future will show us that we can go on. We are so happy with all the efforts by Trust Bank and what they are doing for us. I am also happy that you have trust in us as Trust Bank that we can handle your money very well.” 

The Chief Medical Director of the Edward Francis Small Tecahing Hospital, Dr Muhammed Ammar al Jafari said: “Once again we are going to witness a new donation and as usual, another wonderful help from Trust Bank. Actually it is not the first time and I pray to God that it will not be the last. Trust Bank really is a great, supportive partner to the health sector in general and our hospitals in particular. This great donation today in medical and non-medical supplies, and also renovation of a ward and others, gives us honest evidence that The Gambia has great people and great institutions like Trust Bank. Under the great leadership of the great president, Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh, I think nothing is impossible insh’Allah. The health sectors, especially the hospitals, are His Excellency’s number one priority. Please let us, all of us, send a strong message to His Excellency, the President, that we are going to work very hard as we can, me and the Minister and all the staff in the Ministry, to ensure that Gambian health is not going to be compromised”. 

Mr Baboucarr Cham, the chairman of the National Stakeholders Council for Mental Health who facilitated the linkage between Trust Bank and Tanka hospital commended Trust Bank for its laudable effort and said mental health should be the concern of all.

Mr Cham who is also the head of city Limits Radio, appealed to other institutions to emulate the efforts of the bank while singling out the need to upgrade the dirt-strewn 1.5km road to the main motorway.

The event ended with a tour of the numerous facilities with the Health Minister accompanied by Mr Joiner, Dr Al Jaffar and the Director of Medical Services, Dr Modou waggeh.


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