‘No Ebola in The Gambia, but no room for complacency’


Speaking briefly yesterday at the World Health Organisation, Banjul office in Kotu while taking delivery of Ebola preventive medical equipment, communication, and information materials, Dr Sey said: “We don’t have Ebola but we will not relent and there should be no room for complacency. Lots of things have happened since the outbreak and we should give credit for our Health Promotion Directorate and Disease Control and Epidemiology Unit at the Ministry of Health. Without a good surveillance system, we will not be here today to talk about Ebola but the surveillance systems have worked well and are worth emulating. In the Gambia, we are surrounded by Ebola hit nations but we are trying to put in place a system that everyone can come and learn from us. Just last week, I was in Harvard [University] to receive a ministerial leadership award, and one of the things we showcased as a small country is that we can make it happen and people can learn from our best practices. We are a small country with little resources but committed people. We will make sure that this material goes to the right places.”

He said the donation will help to further strength The Gambia’s surveillance system.

The health minister commended the WHO for “the immense support, they are and continue to give” to the development of The Gambia’s health sector.


Speaking earlier, the WHO country representative, Dr Charles Sargoe Moses said: “The purpose of today’s presentation is to further consolidate the United Nations’ response to the ongoing preparatory measures as earlier alluded to.  The United Nations believes that an emergency of this nature poses far-reaching health, economic and social implications to individuals, families, the health system and the country at large, and the country must be adequately prepared for this.  This is the reason why the United Nations deems it fit to respond as a single entity to these challenges rather intervening within our individual domains.”

Dr. Moses said since the Ebola outbreak UN system has been working with the Ministry of Health to Support the development and implementation of National Ebola Virus Disease Preparedness and Response Plan, Training of Trainers for doctors and nurses among others.

The WHO Banjul Chief said the donation is to ‘further cement our existing interventions and to supplement Government’s efforts in strengthening Ebola preparedness efforts.’

The donated  items include at least 42 boxes (4,000 sets ) of personal protective equipment, 2,000 copies of posters on the prevention and control of Ebola, 2,500 copies of leaflets on Ebola, 2,000 copies of factsheet on Ebola , 2,000 copies of Ebola guidelines for health workers, 200 copies of a handbook on Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers.


By Sainey Marenah & Joey Rayvon-Goggins