Gambia’s collapsed health sector has reached an alarming proportion, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. Almost all health facilities, including the nation’s main referral Francis Small Teaching Hospital are being operated without drugs and gas equipment to facilitate operation during surgery. Patients are being turned down for medication after been issued with prescription by doctors. The current appalling health delivery situation is so dire to a point that many patients are dying in The Gambia due to lack of medication.
Our reporter visited the Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul to assess the situation of health delivery administration and patient care, but to his chagrin the main pharmacy lacks basic drugs. Insiders at the hospital have told the Freedom Newspaper that the last consignment of drugs that they have in stock is finished and there is no new consignment of drugs coming soon to Banjul. Patients, said the insiders, are being referred to private pharmacies to buy drugs.
“There is no drugs here. The hospital is operating without drugs. There is also acute shortages of bandages, injections, surgical gadgets, and food for admitted patients. The President should visit health facilities to see for himself. Patients are dying here like flies due to lack of medical treatment. The health sector has collapsed. We are not sure if he is being briefed properly by his Health Minister. If the current situation is not fixed, many will die in our hospitals and health centers,” said the insider.
“I will take you round the gas depot. You see these gas tanks standing here; these are empty gas tanks. How can the theater be operational in the absence of an oxygen? The situation is so pathetic,” he added.
The laboratory Department has been virtually reduced as a “ghost lab.” Safety standards at the blood bank are appalling. Some of the equipment being used to draw blood from blood donors and patients are too old. It appears that someone is not paying attention to details, when it comes to revamping the nation’s deteriorating health sector.
Our reporter also visited Minister Omar Sey’s office, where he spoke to some insiders there. The feedbacks he received from the insiders are the least promising. He was told that the Ministry is struggling with major budgetary problems. Health Ministry workers are at the risk of not receiving their monthly salaries, one insider noted.
The Gambia is also faced with the problem of environmental sanitation. The sanitation at the July 22 Park is appalling. Kids often play around the Park despite its bad sanitation.