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The Ministry of Health receives a boost from ActionAid, CRS and United Purpose to pay for borrowed medical supplies

Three checks amounting to three hundred and seventeen thousand, three hundred dalasi (GMD317,310) have been presented to the Ministry of Health. The presentation was made by a consortium of three INGOs ActionAid International The Gambia, Catholic Relief Services and United Purpose (formerly Concern Universal) on Friday 27th January 2017.  The money will go to Serrekunda General and Jammeh Foundation for Peace hospitals with the aim of complementing the ministry’s efforts in the repayment supplies. It was revealed that during the tense political period when former President Jammeh refused to step down, the main hospital in Banjul was closed and patients were referred to Serrekunda General and Jammeh Foundation for Peace hospitals. As there were no medical supplies, the Ministry had to borrow from Senegal in order to cater for the growing needs of patients.

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In a brief speech at the presentation ceremony held at the Catholic Relief Services in Fajara, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health Saffie Lowe-Ceesay, revealed that during the political impasse, the much needed medical supplies were not available and so they had to turn to the sister republic of Senegal who came to their aid. After the dust settled, payments have to be made, and therefore they reached out to their development partners and were able to have some funds through the consortium. She commended the consortium through CRS, and her team for what she described,’standing out when everybody ran away. If this was a test, we have passed with flying colours’, she said, while urging them to keep up the momentum.

CRS’s Head of Country Office, Mr Ousman Njie, the Executive Director of ActionAid Omar Badji and the Programme Coordinator of United Purpose Ismaila Jarju expressed happiness and pride at the commitment of the Ministry of Health during what they called a week of stress and uncertainty.  “I salute the Ministry of Health for going the extra mile and borrowing medical items from Senegal during a week of stress and uncertainty”, said Omar Badji, while Ismaila Jarju commended the Ministry of Health and called for strengthening of the consortium in order to continue to support Gambians. Ousman Njie, who chaired the ceremony expressed happiness at what he called a token contribution and also commended the Ministry for their bravery. They all encouraged dialogue and discussion with the new government calling on the new administration to promote democracy, transparency and accountability.

The money that has been donated will be shared between Serrekunda General Hospital which will receive one hundred thousand dalasi (GMD100,000), Jammeh Foundation for Peace Hospital – seventy-five thousand dalasi (GMD75,000) and Ministry of Health – one hundred and forty-two thousand, three hundred and ten dalasi (GMD142,310).