Jahaly Health Centre. One million patients since 1991.
The “Jahaly Health Centre” serves up to 46,000 patients per year – outpatients as well as inpatients – and is considered one of the country’s best health facilities. In 2009 it has been recognized by the Gambian government as a “model clinic”.
The clinic has several surgeries, two wards, a laboratory, a pharmacy, an ambulance car and a maternity ward. On the Campus of Jahaly Health Centre there is also a small Dental Unit, which is actually closed until further notice. A 20 kW solar power system provides electricity round the clock 24/7. For a health facility up-country this is very special. In recent years, power lines have been installed along the two highways south and north of the Gambia River. Since the end of 2017, Jahaly has also been connected to the electricity grid. However, only a few families can afford a power connection. Jahaly Health Centre was connected to the public grid in February 2019 – 28 years after it’s inauguration.
The success of the clinic is based on regular renovations and maintenance, the last one was carried out in 2013: all buildings got new roofs, tiles, sanitary units along with doors and windows made of aluminum, which is easy to maintain. All floors and walls are tiled. The patient beds are made out of concrete and are tiled. This may sound strange, but thus everything is hygienic and easy to keep clean. A Gambian state registered nurse and midwife is the Head of the clinic. Patients pay a consultancy fee of between 0.25 Euro (children younger than five years old) and 0.50 Euro (children from 5 years old and adults). In April 2021, a flat medication fee of 1.65 Euros was introduced.
The salaries of the staff is higher than in comparable state run facilities. All members of staff with their families are given free accommodation within the campus.
Each patient visiting the clinic, passes the out-patient department first. Patients are diagnosed here and treatment is discussed. Most patients suffer Malaria or infections of the respiration tract, such as pneumonia, diarrhoea or infections of the skin and burns. Especially in the “cold” season there is an increased number of small children with severe fire burns as they fell into open fire places that the locals use for cooking in the villages.
The in-patient ward has 27 beds. 16 for adults and 11 for children which are located in different wards. There are also smaller rooms for patients that need to be isolated or need to rest or those who are severely ill. This is for example the case when patients suffer a severe form of malaria or severe burns or patients that require a long i.V. treatment.
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Video: Jahaly Health Centre in The Gambia (2010)
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