By Landing Ceesay
A group of people from Brikama based in Seattle in The USA referred to as ‘Brikama Seattle Society’ [BSS] have donated medical equipment to Brikama Health Centre.
The equipment worth $1.1 million [approximately D55, 000, 000].
They are meant to strengthen the facility’s efforts in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and address other health needs of the people of Brikama and its surrounding villages.
Lamin Sanyang, Officer-in-charge of Brikama Health Centre expressed delight at the donation by natives of Brikama based in the US state of Seattle and described it as a ‘timely intervention’.
“This donation by Brikama Seattle society is something I’m very happy with because it came at a time when we need it. We all know that we are in this pandemic period…the items they brought us are N95 masks, surgical masks, disposable gloves, [and] surgical gowns. These are all materials that are needed [by the health centre] during this pandemic period,” he said.
Sanyang said the donated equipment are used to at least prevent health care workers from getting certain infections, especially [during] this pandemic period. He thanked the donors for the gesture, while looking forward to such assistance in many areas in the future.
Meanwhile, Babucarr Njai, the president of the Brikama Seattle Society said their main focus is to improve Brikama Health Centre for the people of Brikama and its surrounding villages. He said even before the existence of the ‘Gambia Women Lives Matter’ movement they have been focusing on refurbishing the maternity of the Health Centre.
“Even before ‘Gambian Women’s Lives Matter’ came into being, we were focusing on refurbishing the maternity ward of Brikama Health Centre. We did that and finished it some months ago, and it is well refurbished and well furnished. We put in beds there, they have some very good electricity supply, we even provide them with some television sets for the patients to watch TV during their leisure time and know what is going on around the globe. I know [during] childbirth, death in maternity is being a big concern in this country, not just in Brikama alone. But for us, we are just focusing on Brikama Health Centre and we are going to do our utmost best to improve the Brikama Health Centre maternity ward very well.
“We are going to do our best and work with our donors in Seattle and Washington State. These donors help us; they are the ones that even helped us to refurbish the maternity ward. So we are working tirelessly to make sure that childbirth death is controlled in a way that is not going to be as bad as we have been seeing in the past months or years,” Njai assured.
Babucarr Njai, said they are currently installing solar panels to make sure that the Brikama maternity ward doesn’t go out of light. He said when the electricity goes off they want to make sure that their solar panels kick in so that they (Brikama Maternity ward) have enough electricity to take care of their patients. The BSS President said that is something that can also prevent a lot of deaths during birth. He said one could imagine how devastating that could be to caregivers, the patients and their families; if a mother is in labour and electricity goes off.
“We just recently sent in some trauma kits which are used for very trauma situations in case of when people are involved in serious accidents and they have broken bones so these kits are used to fix those broken bones. Some of these kits have a lot of equipment in them. The equipment we sent are worth 1.1 million US dollars and also we sent in a lot of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). When the Coronavirus hit the whole world, our main concern is the Gambia, more specifically Brikama and its surroundings.
“So we make sure that [in] our community we do what we can for them. So we sent in a lot of PPEs from gloves, N95 masks and a lot more equipment. So that our people don’t have those shortages. We also bought hand sanitisers that are our main focus to make sure that our health care personnel in Brikama can have the best equipment for their work,” he said.
Some of the donated equipment include trauma kits, surgical masks, N95 masks, Personal Protective Equipment ( PPE), etc. They were handed over to the Officer-in-charge of the Health Centre on Monday.