GAF Inaugurates New Clinic


By Assan Bah

The Gambia Armed Force (GAF) recently inaugurated a four-apartment complex at the Infantry Battalion in Yundum.

The clinic, which was recently accredited by the Ministry of Health to offer comprehensive medical services to members of the Armed Forces, their families, was expanded through the funding received from the United States Embassy in Banjul.

The clinic has two Antenatal Wards and is currently conducting a wide range of tests. The program has also helped to train nurses in other countries such as the United States of America, Kenya, Tanzania, Germany and so on.

Dr. Pa Saikou Bojang, Director of Hands on Care, said the commissioning of the art side is part of their health care strategies across military facilities and the country. 

According to him, the major reasons for the extension of the art side is to create enough space for health care workers, and the clients to interact, which he said is to ensure that stigma and discrimination is reduced and to ensure respect for privacy and confidentiality of clients. He emphasized that the clinic is not only meant for HIV/AIDS, and Tuberculosis patients, adding it is rather meant to include other chronic and acute medical conditions such as Asthma, Malaria, Diabetes, Tuberculosis, and Hypertension.

“Another reason for the expansion is to ensure that old people can have equal access to medical attention regardless of their age, sex, and sexual orientation. 

“Currently military health institutions on the HIV/AIDS programs are almost at the verge of achieving the UN AIDS of 395. We have recorded 245 HIV patients ……. and these clients are on 100% treatment,” he expounded. 

He further said, “We were able to introduce an e-tracker, an electronic recording of the client’s information from the time of consultation, lab and even to pharmacy. The e-tracker is a paperless transaction you don’t need to be holding recursion while going to the lab or pharmacy because all activities are done electronically.” 

He challenged the military command to take maximum care of the facility.

Mrs Adama Drammeh, the Director of the National AIDS Secretariat, said this project marks a significant milestone in the country’s quest to fight AIDS in the Gambia.

“For us to achieve the HIV/AIDS target 95% of those infected must know their status, 95% of those who know their status must also be put on treatment and those 95% on treatment must get viral suppression.

Lieutenant General Mamat O. Cham, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), said DEHAP over the years have been very beneficial to the armed forces as the personnel of GAF have benefited from numerous trainings, “through the DEHAP project many military facilities were refurbished and expended.”

According to him, GAF currently has 18 sides that offer medical services across the country with the Yundum and Fajara camp facilities accredited to offer comprehensive health care services by the Health Ministry.

He expressed gratitude to the US Embassy – Banjul, National AIDS Secretariat, and Hands on Care for the tremendous support extended to GAF.

Representing the US Ambassador, Mr Eric Mehler, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy Banjul, said the event is a testament of the Gambia and US’s commitment to drive effective health care and encouraged all Gambians to feel comfortable, safe, and welcomed when seeking medical care treatment, especially HIV.

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