State House, Banjul, 12thSeptember2018
The First Lady of the Republic, Her Excellency, Fatoumatta Barrow on Monday joined a group of medical personnel and educationists from Delaware, U.S.at a needs assessment exercise at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul. The group of philanthropists, under the auspices of Delaware African Carribean Community (DACC), isin the country on the invitationof the Fatou Bah-Barrow Foundation (FaBB).
“The FirstLady has a strong passion for health, which is why when she honouredthe invitation of the DACC last year [to travel to the US], she made arrangements for such a partnership with the country’s main referral hospital,” Ms.Fatou Ceesay, CEO of the Foundation, said in a statement at the hospital.
The team, which comprisedof medical specialistsand health academics, is visiting to gatherfirst-hand information to enable them todeliverthe right form of assistance needed by the teaching hospital and the medical school of the University of The Gambia, which is housed on the same premises. According to officials, it would also inform the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed between the Delaware African Caribbean Community (DACC) and the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital.
Thepreliminary results from the fact-findingrevealed inadequate supply of modern medical and clinical equipment, which according to the doctors on the ground hampers the efforts of domestic specialists at the hospital, leading to more overseas referrals.
Doctor Jallow was quick to add that despite the high cost attached to overseas treatment, the FaBB Foundation is quite supportive in financing the operations of a number of patients in Dakar, Senegal. ‘’These were all children with severe medical conditions and we are not equipped for such operations neither do we have such specialists here,” the doctor told the delegates about the interventions of the foundation.
At the Medical School of the University of The Gambia, the Provost, Prof. Ousman Nyan, explained that the school has helped increase medical graduates since its inception. However, they are also grappling with challenges, ranging from equipment, space, andtraining resources.
At the end of the tour, the group will come up with a report that will inform an intervention package from the Delaware African Caribbean Community to the Edward Francis Small Teaching hospital.