Some chiefs such as Mama Tamba Jammeh, Matarr Ceesay, Karamo Kebba Sanneh used the annual Mansa Bengo to elicit favours from the colonial masters. The chiefs were influential in forcing the colonial masters to give the vote to the entire country in 1960 when universal adult suffrage was introduced. Also, Kemintang Camara and Ndungusine, proto-nationalists are hereby spelt properly. Thanks for your exhaustive coverage and for promoting Gambian history.
Civilisation, women and its attendant consequence
I am writing to share through your medium the rise of civilisation and what it has caused as in the case of women in all societies of the world. I respect women a lot because they are special gifts from God to men. However, their quest for equality baffles me a lot. He who created man and finally got a wife for him foresaw how things would be if women were allowed to head men or be at equal level with men. I am not saying that women should not be given all the support and empowerment for them to be able to contribute to humanity. In fact throughout history, women have succeeded in leaving an indelible mark on society. Their position to the advancement of their families, communities and nations at large bears testimony to the new heights of contribution of which they prove capable. But in my own opinion, the fact that most of them are now educated is not enough reason to be fighting for equal opportunities, right and position with men. In other words, I doubt if they should attempt to use their knowledge to change or amend what God Himself designed (man as the head). I am aware that women who are doing great by contributing to the nation’s development deserve more opportunities while others who have potential should be allowed to freely utilise such potential, by the creating enabling environment for them even in governance but again, that is not to equate themselves with men. Women can assist when necessary. I also believe a man who knows what he is doing would always take good advice from his wife but not to the point of manipulation.
Government should address maternal mortality
Our government has over the years taken practical steps in order to reduce the very disturbing reality of maternal mortality. However, according to a record from the United Nations Development Programme, the country was not on track for achieving the MDG target of reducing by three quarters the Maternal Mortality Rates (MMR) between 1990 and 2015. It said that considering the current maternal mortality rate of 730 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2001 and the MDG target of 263 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2015, it could be argued that the set target would not be attained. The 2012 maternal mortality estimates ‘Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2010” of the WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and the WB in 2012 estimated the maternal mortality ratio for The Gambia in 2010 to be 360 per 100,000 live births. Again according to these institutions, since the 2001 survey is the only representative survey conducted on MMR for The Gambia, the country is not likely to reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality rate estimate derived from that survey result. Regarding the percentage of births attended by skilled birth attendants, it is unlikely that the country was to meet the MDG target of 90 per cent by 2015. The 2010 estimate of 56.6 per cent showed a slight drop from the 2005/06 estimate of 56.8 per cent with huge regional disparities.
With this analysis, it is right to state that the annual number of female death during live births from any cause related to pregnancies has continued to raise concern in the country. The maternal mortality rate includes death during child birth etc. This prevailing high MMR has been a major concern for government and other stakeholders. As a result, the government should create more quality health care in well-equipped hospital facilities especially as it concerns women and children. I am pleading with the government to find a solution to maternal mortality rate in the country.