Sami Madina Residents call on Government to Take Full Charge of their Health Post


By Lamin Fatty

Residents of Sami Madina are calling on the government to take full charge of their community health post.

This reporter visited the aforementioned community health post in Sami Madina in Sami District in Central River Region (CRR North) where the villagers expressed concern over challenging issues they face.

VDC Chairman, Mbaye Ceesay, Sanna Ceesay, the primary health attendant of the community, Karamo Ceesay chairperson the health post management committee, and  Sulayman Krubally a committee member all expressed concerns and request that government takes full charge of the facility.

In their own words “This health post was established by a Dutch in 2015 and he provided the health post with an ambulance, then the health post was handed over to the Gambia government in January 2018 and in February 2018 the health post started operating with government responsible for deploying  health personnel and medical supplies to the health post. However the community is still responsible for the payment of the ambulance driver while the relatives of any patient who has been referred are responsible for fuelling the ambulance and paying ferry crossing tickets, which is very challenging and we are now demanding government to fully takeover the health post,” community leaders told Foroyaa.

They added that villagers are responsible for the payment of the maintenance of the ambulance and the cash power for the health post.

They implored the government to come to their aid and take charge of expenditures such as payment of the services rendered by the ambulance driver, maintenance of the ambulance and so on. They added that it is odd for the villagers to be responsible for the installation of the electric meter at the health facility.

According to the community leaders of Sami Madina, the health post was initiated by the community as a primary health care or Reproductive Child Health (RCH) centre, which was later upgraded to a health post with the help of a Dutch philanthropist who financed the construction of the health post in 2015 and also provided the ambulance. It was handed over to the government of Gambia in January 2018. They said they have written to government through the health department, private and individual philanthropists for assistance but to no avail.

The regional health director for CRR Dr. Lamin Fofana when contacted by this reporter indicated that he was new in that office as regional director, but he heard about the issues affecting Sami Madina and government is trying to take up their challenges.

“Sami Madina health post was initiated and established by the community and then transferred to government not long ago and right now, government is responsible for human resources and medical supplies. But as time goes on, government will take full responsibility of the said health facility like any other health post in the country,” Dr.Fofana said.

Sami health post has a catchment area of 11 communities with over 5901 people and does receive patients outside of its catchment area from Sandu and even from Senegal.