20 December 2012

Gambia: Health Minister Begins Tour

The minister of Health and Social Welfare Tuesday began a tour of health facilities across the country.

The first-leg of the tour took Minister Bala Garba Jahumpa and delegation to Serrekunda Health Centre, Faji Kunda Health Centre, Banjulinding Minor Health Centre, Brikama Major Health Centre and the Tanka-Tanka Psychiatric Hospital in Salaji.

Speaking in an interview with reporter after the visits, Jahumpa expressed sympathy for the patients admitted at the Tanka-Tanka Psychiatric Hospital, saying it is an unfortunateas 45% of the patients are there due to drug-related problems. "I have been told that they are receiving treatment and most of them need support and comfort from their families or society," he added.

He further expressed satisfaction with the health facilities visited saying there are enough pharmaceutical needs, but noted that there is still high demand for antibiotics and anti-malaria drugs.

In terms of immunization campaign, the Health minister said The Gambia stands out among the best, adding that the percentage they are able to cover in terms of Measles, Tuberculosis (TB) and others is positive according to the WHO records.

For his part, Bamba Janneh, the head of the Tanka-Tanka Psychiatric Hospital, said the facility is the only psychiatric hospital in The Gambia.Hehighlighted the numerous constraintsthey are faced withranging from infrastructure to staff welfare, among others.

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