State House, Banjul, January 2, 2020 – As part of her New Year day engagements, Her Excellency, First Lady, Fatou Bah-Barrow personally presided over the presentation of cash prizes and baskets of gifts to the 2020 babies born at the dawn of the New Year at health facilities in Banjul and Kanifing regions.
Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) in Banjul, the Sere Kunda General Hospital in Kanifing and the Bundung Maternal and Child Health Hospital were each visited by the First Lady. Similar presentations were made by delegates from the Fatou Bah-Barrow (FaBB) Foundation, who were dispatched to deliver cash prizes of D15, 000 and D10, 000 respectively to each of the first two babies born at major health facilities across the country.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Ahmadou Samateh described the event of welcoming new babies at the beginning of the New Year as promising. He applauded FaBB for providing support to the families and the hospitals. The Health Minister noted the support of the First Lady’s Foundation towards the modernisation taking place at EFST hospital and in the health sector in general.
“They brought in hundreds of beds, tens of equipment, a lot of support including construction materials donated to enable us achieve our goal of modernisation of the hospital. Patients have been supported at various levels; individual donations towards their upkeep in the facility and they have been there for us,” Minister Samateh asserted.
Already, the tender for renovation of all health facilities is underway and 2020 is expected to usher in more progress in the sector. “There are a lot of equipment that have been procured and we are going to procure a lot more. We have started residency training. We have trained many and we will be training a lot more. Further training for the specialization of nurses are also prioritized so as to achieve our goals of a standard service delivery system in the sector,” the Health Minister revealed.
Meanwhile, statistics from the Bundung Maternal and Children Hospital states that 2019 recorded 4,286 deliveries. 365 (8.5%) were delivered by Cesarean section operations while 98% were delivered as life births. Only one maternal death was registered in 2019 and its resolution for 2020 is no maternal death.
At the Kanifing Hospital, Senior Midwife, Isatou Cham said “It is definitely a true motivation for us the staff to work for the whole year and expecting your First Lady to come and say thank you to the staff; see fellow women who underwent pregnancy and child birth with handshakes and smiles. We are very appreciative.”
This year, Gamtel/Gamcel, Kar Power and Africell partnered to support the FaBB First Baby Event. In addition, the medical staff on duty were also donated a token at the said facilities to motivate them for their services.
Additional reporting by Oli Coker.