By Neneh Galleh Barry
The Minister of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW), Hon. Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, recently handed over an ambulance to the community of Nema Kunku in Upper Niumi District of North Bank Region.The ambulance was donated to the Ministry by Project Aid The Gambia.
In responding to the challenges faced by Nema Kunku Health Centre with regards to referrals, Minister Samateh in consultation with his technical team, decided to give them the said ambulance, to ease the problem.
In addition to the ambulance, the Health Minister reassured the community of Nema Kunku and its surrounding of the expansion of the health facility with the required human resources and equipment.
He, however, appealed to the community elders to provide adequate space at the health facility for the planned expansion work to start as soon as possible. The community and its environs will also benefit from a pilot community ambulance service in addition to the existing ambulance to support referrals from the communities to Nema Kunku Health Centre, as disclosed.
The Health Ministry boss thanked the Officer-in-Charge of Nema Kunku Health Mrs. Sirrah Badjie and her team for their hard work and commitment to duty, as he promised them of his continuous support.
The Minister equally commended the National Assembly Member of Upper Niumi, Hon.Omar Darboe for the numerous follow-ups he made to his [Minister’s} office to ensure that the ambulance is available and delivered to the community.
The community members, especially the women, expressed gratitude to the Hon. Minister for coming to their aid at a time the help is needed, in providing the ambulance.
The lady who spoke on behalf of the women folk there, noted that the availability of the ambulance would reduce burden and suffering from the women in the area. She appealed to the government to provide access roads to link Nema Kunku and surrounding communities to the main road.
The women representative told the visiting delegation that the availability of good roads would also contribute to the lifespan of the ambulance, and also provide easy referrals with less burden on the patients being referred to Essau Health Centre in Lower Niumi District..
The ambulance keys were handed over to Hon. Omar Darboe for onward delivery to the Regional Director of Health Services of North Bank West (Essau), Alh. Momodou Lamin Manneh, who also handed over the said keys to the Officer-in-Charge of Nema Kunku Health Centre.
Minister Samateh, in concluding his statement, saluted President Adama Barrow for the “continuous support” to the Health sector, and for creating the enabling environment.
Dr. Samateh and delegation later proceeded to Njau in Central River Region to present an ambulance. The Minister’s delegation to Nema Kunku comprised Senior Management Team members of the Ministry; National Assembly Members of Upper Niumi, Lower Baddibu, Upper Saloum; members of the press and community.