Manjai Kunda, June 29th, 2020 Project Aid The Gambia, International NGO A57, that operates JahalyHealth Centre, CRR, and Health Centre Bunidau, NBR, launched a humanitarian aid container from Germany to The Gambia, containing 36 ventilators and 18 hospital beds.
Last week the 20ft container was loaded in Essen, Germany. The donated equipment will be handed over to the Ministry of Health in The Gambia upon arrival, which is scheduled for late July/mid-August.
The 36 ventilators are donations from two medical supplier companies in Germany. Additional medical accessories for the ventilators were also loaded, provided by Project Aid The Gambia, Germany. The 18 hospital beds are a donation from the Ruhrland Clinic/University Hospital Essen, that in 2019 and 2020 had already supported the health service of The Gambia through a donation of 39 second hand hospital beds and other medical equipment.
All equipment is second hand, but in good and functional condition. The ventilators are used to prepare the West African country for the expected increase in seriously ill COVID-19 patients. The ventilators have a new value of approx. 11m GMD.
“Our delivery of ventilators will significantly improve the equipment of the Gambian health system,” says Matthias Ketteler, founder and board member of Project Aid The Gambia. “The number of corona infections in Gambia is still increasing slowly. According to health experts from the WHO a possibly uncontrollable outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa in the summer is expected. “We want to use this remaining time to help improve the dilapidated health system in The Gambia.”
Two of the ventilators are to be delivered to the Medicare clinic in Brufut, a well-equipped private clinic in The Gambia. In return, the clinic has agreed to instruct staff of the governmental clinics in the operation of the devices, reports Matthias Ketteler.
In another development, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the NBR Regional Director of Health, Project Aid The Gambia is about to donate thousands of mouth-nose masks to governmental Health Centers in the North Bank region free of charge. Health Centers will be provided with an amount of 500 reusable masks each, Community Clinics and minor health posts with 250 masks each. In addition, leaflets containing information how to correctly use and wash the face masks will also be provided to each of the health facilities.
The face masks are made of double-layer cotton, being washable and re-usable. The face masks are not meant for sale, but for the use by staff and patients of the health facilities. The face masks are being collected from the patients upon leaving, and afterwards being washed in hot water with OMO, dried the other day and re-issued to patients.
The protocol of using, cleaning and re-using the face masks by staff and patients – following the WHO guidelines – have been implemented in both health centers run by the organization (Jahaly Health Centre, CRR, and Health Center Buniadu, NBR) since the beginning of April.
The face masks have been produced in The Gambia during the last weeks. The production was funded by the German partner organization of Project Aid The Gambia, which had successfully run a fundraiser in Germany. Up to date Project Aid The Gambia had produced an amount of more than 31,500 face masks, some of which were sold to different NGOs and companies at cost price. The production of the face masks is still ongoing. More masks will be delivered to more health facilities, as soon as those facilities will have been identified by the health authorities.
Three weeks ago, the organization has delivered a first batch of 8,000 face masks, free of charge, to 23 health facilities in the Central River Region, identified by the CRR Regional Director of Health.