FOROYAA Newspaper (Serrekunda)

29 November 2012

Gambia: Couple Donate Brikama Major Health Centre

Friends of Badala Nursery School in Fagi Kunda Mr. Ben and Mrs. Ans Schepers who live in Albergen, Netherlands, have donated items to Brikama Major Health Centre that includes cartons of towels, baby Sucks, baby clothes, wools, bed sheets, syringes, gloves and some labour materials on Wednesday 28th November 2012 at the Brikama Major Health Centre.

The occasion was graced by the management of the facility, patients, and a cross-section of people at the health centre. The couple were accompanied by Mr. Alkinky Sanyang and Lamin Marong, the head of the Badala Nursery School

Ms Rakey Njie, a nurse at the Brikama major health facility, welcomed the guests and expressed the management's appreciation to the couples and their Gambian counterparts. She said the health facility is a major facility as they receive patients from other satellite villages. She stated that it has a huge catchment area with populated villages surrounding the health centre.

For Ms Fatou Camara who steps in for the officer in charge of the Health centre, stated that such gifts are welcome as it would boost the image of the health centre. She said they always have a high number of deliveries, and patients because the location of the health facility has always been receiving patients.

For his part, Mr. Ben Schepers said he heard from a friend in Netherlands that Brikama Major Health centre has high delivery as women are giving birth at a higher rate. He said he also told the friend that he would make everything possible if he comes to the Gambia and would donate the health centre with some baby clothing and labour materials.

For his part, Mr. Alkinky Sanyang said the couple are philanthropists and they have been coming to the Gambia since 2002.

"The couple built a four modern classroom school in Fagi Kunda DUMOs which is Badala Nursery school. They give free education, pay the school fees of the children and the salaries of the teachers. They also made arrangements for the school to have pipe borne water and the community is benefiting from this free of charge", said Mr. Alkinky Sanyang.

Mr. Sanyang said the headmaster of the school was a hotelier, but after meeting with the couple they engaged him as an early childhood educator and have continued to sponsor some other children in the community. He pointed out that the couple, Mr. and Mrs. Schepers, are real Gambian parents as they care for the development of the nation. He asserted that the couple are contributing their quota in the education sector because they do not want to see any uneducated child in the Gambia. He said now they are here to forge relationship between the Badala Nursery and Brikama Health Centre.

Lamin Sanyang and Lamin Darboe both expressed their appreciation and thanked the donors for a job well-done.

Expressing their constraints to the couple, it was narrated that electricity continues to be a problem in carrying out their routine assessment, as NAWEC is not regular. They said they receive only 60 litres of fuel for the generator, which is not enough for the facility. It was mentioned that many a times they prioritize in case of operations at labour ward or other emergencies. It was also mentioned that malaria continues to be a problem in the health centre; that as of September they have registered 6,700 malaria cases; that in the month of October alone, the number doubled to 12,673 malaria cases.

On a conducted tour babies warmer/ Oxygen supply machine was shown to the couple where babies born with complications are kept for some time. It was stated that the machine was designed to operate at a temperature of 40oC but currently it operates at 27oC heat, which is too low, but they are managing with it.

"Last month we delivered 600 live births. This morning from 8pm to 8 am, we delivered 14 babies and the first baby for this morning was born at 8:45 am. Sometimes we do have two mothers at a bed when we have more deliveries. The place becomes congested after birth when we examined them and see no complications, we give them six hours to discharge", said the staff at Brikama Health Centre.

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