Precarious State of Gambia’s Healthcare Exposes Failure of Government

By: Alieu Jallow  

The Healthcare sector in the Gambia continues to face setbacks and dangerous trends in the country’s delivery of healthcare to the expectations of the every Gambian, causing to sit-down strikes by nurses in October 2020 and of recent.

The recent revelation of the dwindling conditions in healthcare system, the executives of the Association of Midwives and Nurses has send shockwaves that left much to desire.

Speaking to this medium, Fatoumatta Jabbie, Vice President of the Association emphasised that nurses and midwives had been working under horrific circumstances such as operating without enough personal protective equipment, shortage of medication, insufficient clean water for deliveries, electricity, sterilising materials and operational equipment among others.

“At Brikama Health centre when light goes off nurses use touch lights that they bought to enable them to attend to patients and emergencies”, said Madam Darboe.

She further stated that the appalling situation is getting worst as inadequate resources and healthcare facilities across the country virtually crippled. She added that the denial by government officials further deteriorated the status quo.

Madam Jabbie accused officials of stained mouths for what she believed to have soiled their hands in the pot of soup consequently leading to not being honest to the Gambian citizens.

Lady Jabbie indicated that nurses and midwives who had the audacity to talk or criticise are penalised and most at times denied elevation or transferred to the provinces where they will be snubbed.

Alagie Foday Janko a Deputy supervisor at Niamina Dankunku Health Centre in Central River Region (CRR) indicated that health officials continue to threaten the progress of the country’s healthcare sector and are fond of not reporting the realities on the ground during routine checkups and monitors at the workplaces.

Janko said access to enough clean water for safe delivery puts life of nurses and doctors and that of patients at risk of contracting diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B coupled with lack of electricity, enough medication and life saving equipment.

“Our health facility that refers all emergency cases to Bansang 110km away is a carrier instead of an ambulance which made it difficult for patients when transporting them to Bansang

Several nurses echoed similar sentiments as country’s health sector is under scrutiny following the uproar by nurses, midwives and the public.

 

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