By Maimuna Sey-Jawo
In its quest to complementing government in providing quality health services delivery in the country, Yorkshire Ambulance Services of UK donated two brand new ambulances to the Serrekunda General Hospital in the Kanifing Municipality.
The ambulances, officials said are valued at 80,000 pounds which is about five million dalasi.
Officials believe the ambulances will address some of the top challenges the hospital is encountering particularly in terms of referral of patients to the main hospital in Banjul.
The handing over ceremony of the ambulances was held at the hospital’s ground in Kanifing, attended by the hospital management, the Unison representative in The Gambia among others.
Speaking at the ceremony, Jim Bell, Unison International Project Organiser said for many years they have been supporting humanitarian projects in The Gambia. “We have been supporting Bejilo Lower Basic School in the recent times. However, we decided to change our focus of direction and support our health sector.” He recalled that last year they were able to bring forty-foot container of medical supplies to the Serekunda hospital.
“When we spoke with the previous management of the hospital they indicated that they need an ambulance which we could not get in the container. Apparently, we were able to get two this time around which are donated by Yorkshire ambulance Services and the UNISON transport them,” he stated.
Bertha Mboge, a Board member of Serekunda hospital spoke at length on the significance of the forum, while thanking the donors for their benevolent gesture. “One ambulance is just like not having ambulance at all, because evacuation services are lifeline to all hospitals, thus if you have to evacuate base only on one ambulance you are at a lost.”
The Admin Officer of Serekunda hospital, Babucarr Saine, said the donation is very important, considering that one of the most important components of health service delivery is the availability of reliable transportation assets especially in the evacuation of patients from the community to the facility and from the facility to the referral hospital.
Serekunda Hospital, he said, has only one functional ambulance. “Therefore, the coming of these two ambulances which are in a very good condition, strong and robust will definitely boost the transport asset of this hospital,” he said. Now patients will no longer have to wait long before there are evacuated to the Teaching Hospital.”
The donors, Saine noted, have been supporting the hospital annually, saying that few months ago they brought some medical equipments for the hospital.
Alieu Badjie, public relations officer (PRO) of Serekunda General Hospital moderated the ceremony.