The two German based non-profit associations Projekthilfe Gambia e.V. and Riverboat Doctors International e.V. have agreed on close cooperation in The Gambia. Starting from February 1st, 2017, the Gambian NGO “Project Aid The Gambia” (NGO A57), which is the sister organisation of German “Projekthilfe Gambia”, in the coming six months, will run the management and operation of the Health Centre Buniadu, which was founded and operated by Riverboat Doctors International. Through cooperation with Project Aid, the Health Centre, which has been closed since November 2016 and previously treated approximately one thousand patients a month, can be re-opened.
The Health Centre Buniadu, situated on the north bank of the Gambia River, can resume operations at the beginning of February 2017. Project Aid The Gambia, which has been operating the Buschklinik Hattingen since 1991 in the village Jahaly on the south bank of the river, takes over management, administration and operation of the Health Centre Buniadu for initially six months.
The Health Centre Buniadu, which is funded exclusively by donations from the Riverboat Doctors, had stopped working in early November 2016. A German nurse who had been running the project with great personal commitment for many years had to finish her work on the ground for health reasons.
“We had the fear of losing everything,” says Christian Göken, chairman of Riverboat Doctors International, “the association it’s Health Centre, our Gambian staff their work, and our patients their health care.”
Project Aid The Gambia was ready to help and take over now the operation of the Health Centre Buniadu.
“The Gambian authorities also welcome this decision,” says Matthias Ketteler, co-founder and member of the board of Project Aid The Gambia. “All those involved now benefit from the over 30-year experience of Project Aid with health projects in The Gambia.”
A new nurse / midwife for the Health Centre has already been hired and starts her work in Buniadu in early February. The employment contracts of seven auxiliary nurses, two cleaning staff and two security guards were extended.
Project Aid The Gambia takes over the project management for the Health Centre Buniadu, which was completely renovated recently. Structure, pricing (patient fees and free drug delivery) and bookkeeping, as well as the communication with the German board, are adapted to the Project Aid´s workflow.
“The work of our three-man management team in Project Aid´s Main Office has now become so well-established that we can take over the additional tasks to the satisfaction of the donors and sponsors in Germany,” says Famara Fatty, Project Manager of Project Aid The Gambia. All costs of management and operating Health Centre Buniadu are funded by Riverboat Doctors International. The boards of the two associations also hope to reduce costs by jointly managing the projects, for example when buying medicines, by exchanging personnel and by joint training.
Photo: Christian Goeken, Chairman Riverboat Doctors International, Ramatoulie Saidykhan, midwife / nurse Health Centre Buniadu, and Famara Fatty, Project Manager of Project Aid The Gambia
Riverboat Doctors International, a nonprofit association, was founded in 2004 in Ganderkesee / Germany. Since 2007, the association operates a Health Centre for outpatient care in the village of Buniadu on the north side of the Gambia River, the “Buniadu Health Centre”. The staff of the Health Centre consists of twelve local employees including a trained nurse / midwife. The team is regularly supported by volunteers (doctors, nurses and craftsmen) from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Every day, about 70 outpatient treatments take place, most of them children. Infectious diseases, malaria, ailments, burns and accidents of all kinds are treated, increasingly also chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. In addition to this, in cooperation with local experts, education courses on nutrition and hygiene are offered. The board and all members of the association in Germany work voluntarily. The Health Centre Buniadu has a water supply and a solar system since 2011.