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20210729_Impfzentrum-Buschklinik-Corona-Impfung-Aufklaerung

The Jahaly Health Centre will be the base station for a mobile vaccination team of the Gambian Ministry of Health for Jahaly and the surrounding area. Project Aid has offered the ministry working space and free overnight stays at the Jahaly Health Centre. A second mobile vaccination team works from neighbouring Brikama-Ba. The vaccination teams travel to the individual villages around Jahaly and make an offer of vaccination (Johnson & Johnson)  to the population. The international COVAX initiative has delivered 105,000 more vaccine doses to The Gambia. The Ministry of Health has developed a vaccination plan for all locations throughout The Gambia.

The mobile vaccination team is expected to arrive at the Jahaly Health Centre in the next few days. The arrival is delayed due to logistical difficulties.

In addition, the Jahaly Health Centre has started an education programme among patients and in the surrounding villages. Jahaly Health Centre staff are informing village elders, alkalos and imams about the need for a vaccination against COVID-19. They spread the word. They use village meetings, Friday prayers and local multipliers who march through the villages with drums and pass on the information about the vaccination. Patients who visit the Jahaly Health Centre are also educated daily about the vaccination and encouraged to get vaccinated. The message is: “Corona is real. We have to take the pandemic really seriously. We can all fight it together. No one is safe until everyone is safe. Vaccination is safe and it works.”

Initial feedback from the villages is encouraging: village elders have expressed their support for the vaccination campaign. They say they are now aware of the seriousness of the Corona virus and how important it is to protect themselves and their villages. People in the villages are willing to be vaccinated, they say.

Many residents in the surrounding villages do not have access to information. The opinion that COVID-19 does not exist is widespread in the rural areas.

 

20201013_Cleaning-Kindergarten-03

The Jahaly-Madina kindergarten in Jahaly is finally allowed to reopen on October 28th after a forced break of more than seven months. Schools and kindergartens in The Gambia have been closed since March 18 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For two days, teachers and educators have been preparing the reopening of the kindergarten. First of all, the kindergarten team cleaned all the classrooms from the dust of the last seven months. Then the rooms are cleaned and the outside area is brought back to shape. Minor repairs to the buildings are also necessary. Broken chairs are repaired. Finally, the team develops a hygiene concept in order to meet the requirements of the health authorities. Two days ago, all buildings were thoroughly fumigated by volunteers from the Gambia Red Cross. Since yesterday, parents can register their children for admission to the kindergarten. Not to forget the content-related preparation for the upcoming academic year.

While the kindergarten was closed, all of the Jahaly Health Centre’s patients were escorted across the kindergarten compound – hands were washed and disinfected and masks were distributed to each patient. The classrooms and the large open stage at the playground were used as a waiting area in order to be able to keep the 1.50 meter distance between the patients. The team of Jahaly Health centre now has to work out an alternative setting for this.

The Gambia is the country in West Africa that has been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, no corona infection has been found in Jahaly – but there are also no test options available at all.

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Today, Project Aid The Gambia, International NGO A 57, and the German Embassy Office in The Gambia handed over 34 ventilators with additional medical accessories and 18 hospital beds to the Gambian Ministry of Health at Project Aid’s Headquarters in Manjai Kunda.

The 34 ventilators are donations, gathered by Project Aid The Gambia from two medical supplier companies in Germany. Additional medical accessories for the ventilators were also handed over, provided by Project Aid The Gambia, Germany. Janine Hölscher, Political Attaché of the German Embassy Office in The Gambia handed over the medical equipment during a press conference held at the Main Office of Project Aid The Gambia in Manjai Kunda.

“Our delivery of ventilators will significantly improve the equipment of the Gambian health system,” said Charles Mbye, Chairman of Project Aid The Gambia, at the press conference. “The number of COVID-19 infections in The Gambia is surging alarmingly.” According to WHO health experts a possibly uncontrollable outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa in the months to come is feared. “We want to use this remaining time to help improve the dilapidated health system in The Gambia”, the Chairman added.

The ventilators will be used for the treatment of the increasing number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients. The ventilators have a new value of approx. 11 m GMD.

“We are aware of our social responsibility and as a family business we gladly donate life-support devices to Project Aid The Gambia. Ventilation is one of our core competencies and we hope to make a contribution to improving the situation on site”, says Timo Loewenstein from Loewenstein Medical, Germany – one of the companies, that donated the equipment to Project Aid The Gambia.

Heiko Hannemann, Managing Director of Boergel company, Germany: “We are very upset about the current development of the corona pandemic. We hope to be able to make a good contribution to coping with the use of the ventilators we have provided.”

The German Embassy in The Gambia is contributing with a donation of more additional medical accessories for the ventilators worth 400,000 GMD. This equipment will be shipped to The Gambia as soon as possible.

“The German Embassy gladly supports this very timely project as one of our micro-projects. The ventilators and the equipment are much needed amidst the rise of COVID-19 cases in the Gambia, and Project Aid The Gambia has been a trusted partner in The Gambia for many years”, Janine Hoelscher, Political Attaché of the German Embassy Office in The Gambia, explained during the press conference. With the micro-project scheme, the German Embassy supports NGO-initiatives that aim at improving basic needs of the poor and most vulnerable groups of the population.

Musa Omar Saine, Senior Logistics Officer at the Central Medical Store, appreciated the donations on behalf of HE the President of The Gambia and of the Minister of Health: “Any material that is given to the Ministry of Health is distributed very promptly and to the best of our ability. The donations are handed over at the right time to the right unit.”

All equipment is second hand, but in good and functional condition. Two more ventilators are due to be delivered to Medicare Clinic in Brufut. In return, the clinic has agreed to train governmental staff in the correct handling of the ventilators overseen by Project Aid’s Doctor Eliezer Rodriguez, an ER doctor from Venezuela. “We have tested all of the ventilators, so that they are working properly. In addition we have switched the items to English and translated the manuals from German to English”, Dr. Rodriguez said.

The 18 hospital beds are a donation from the Essen University Medical Center, Germany, that in 2019 and 2020 had already supported the health service of The Gambia through a donation of 39 second-hand hospital beds and other medical equipment – on the initiative of Mr. Thorsten Kaatze, Commercial Director and deputy CEO of the Essen University Medical Center: “At the Essen University Medical Center, we are happy to help improve the health system in The Gambia. I hope that our support will reach patients and improve medical care in The Gambia. In the future, too, we are ready to use medical devices in The Gambia in a meaningful way with Project Aid The Gambia.”

In another development, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the Regional Health Directorates of CRR and NBR, Project Aid The Gambia recently donated an amount of 23,000 reusable mouth-nose masks to 50 governmental health facilities in NBR and CRR regions as well as to the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital EFSTH in Banjul.

The face masks have been produced in The Gambia in the last few months. The production was funded by the German partner organization of Project Aid The Gambia, which had successfully run a fundraiser in Germany. Up to date Project Aid The Gambia had produced an amount of more than 33,000 face masks, some of which were sold to different NGOs and companies at cost price. The production of the face masks is still ongoing. More masks will be delivered to more health facilities, as soon as those facilities will have been identified by the health authorities.

The press conference were attended by three TV stations, one newspaper and  journalists of three online media houses. Please watch the Facebook livestream of the press conference | here |

The press release you may read | here |

Please watch the news reports of Paradise TV, StarTV-The Gambia and QTV below.

Paradise TV - 20.08.2020

StarTV - 21.08.2020

QTV - 20.08.2020

2020-Verteilung Masken-NBR-Health Center

Project Aid The Gambia donated 23,000 washable mouth-nose face masks made of cotton to 51 health facilities in The Gambia. In May Project Aid The Gambia handed over a total of 8,000 masks in the Central River Region (CRR) to 22 health centers and minor community clinics as well as to the hospital in Bansang. In addition, the facilities have received information sheets with information on the correct use and cleaning of the face masks. In mid-July, 4,000 face masks were donated to the largest hospital in The Gambia, the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) in Banjul, and a further 11,000 face masks to two hospitals (Essau District Hospital and Farafenni Hospital), 12 health centers and 13 community clinics in the North Bank province Region (NBR).

The masks are designed to ensure that staff and each patient are provided with a face mask during their visit to the facilities. Upon leaving patients then return the masks. The masks are re-issued after being cleaned with hot water and detergent. Written instructions explain the procedure that Project Aid has been using in it’s own Jahaly Health Centre in Jahaly since the beginning of April.

The face masks for the North Bank Region were handed over to the Regional Health authorities on July 15th, 2020 in the Health Center Buniadu during a press conference and were then personally delivered to the health facilities by Project Aid The Gambia. Three newspapers and two TV stations had come to Buniadu for the press conference. The reports of the TV stations are linked at the end of this page. You can find the press release for the handover of the face masks| here | 

Since April, Project Aid The Gambia has had 32,300 masks produced in The Gambia for approx. 30 GMD / piece, 31,800 of which were spent. The production of further face masks has already been commissioned. The donations that we received for the masks in April / May are enough for the production of a total of approx. 47,000 face masks.

The Gambia is recording the feared increase in COVID-19 infections these days. As of July 20, 2020, a total of 112 infections were officially registered. Of these, 47 cases are active, 57 patients have recovered. Four patients have died. One patient has returned to Senegal, three patients have withdrawn. 668 people are in quarantine. A total of 4,147 tests were performed.

StarTV - 16.07.2020

QTV - 17.07.2020l

Container-Gambia-Beatmungsgeräte-Corona-Ketteler

Project Aid The Gambia today launched an aid container with medical equipment to The Gambia from Essen, Germany. The container was loaded with 36 ventilators for use against COVID-19 and 18 hospital beds. The donated equipment will be handed over to the Ministry of Health in The Gambia.

The 36 ventilators are donations from two medical supplier companies in Germany, Boergel and Loewenstein Medical. The 18 hospital beds are a donation from the Ruhrland Clinic – University Hospital Essen. Additional medical accessories for the ventilators were also loaded, provided by Project Aid The Gambia.

All equipment is used, but in good and functional condition. The ventilators are used to prepare the West African country for the expected increase in seriously ill COVID-19 patients. The ventilators have a new value of approx. 200,000 euros.

There are only 42 officially confirmed Corona cases (as of June 23, 2020) in The Gambia, of which 14 cases are active. 26 patients have recovered, two patients have died. The country with 2.3 million inhabitants currently only has 20 ventilators and eight intensive care bed units for COVID-19 patients.

“Our delivery of ventilators will significantly improve the equipment of the Gambian health system,” says Matthias Ketteler, founder and board member of Project Aid The Gambia. “The number of corona infections in Gambia is still increasing slowly, but the number of unreported cases is high because there are insufficient testing options.” Health experts expect a possibly uncontrollable outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa in the summer. “We want to use this remaining time to help improve the dilapidated health system in The Gambia.”

Two of the ventilators are to be delivered to the Medicare clinic, the best private clinic in The Gambia. In return, this clinic has agreed to instruct staff of the governmanetal clinics in the operation of the devices, reports Matthias Ketteler.

Loewenstein Medical had been working flat out over the past few days to provide as many used ventilators as possible from different locations. “We are pleased that our devices can make a small contribution to on-site help,” says Timo Loewenstein from Loewenstein Medical.

Sales agent Joerk Deimann of Boergel company came to Essen to load the container. Since many years he has been an active member of Project Aid The Gambia. “I think it’s fantastic and very imitative that my company is participating in this campaign.”

Heiko Hannemann, Managing Director of Boergel company: “We are happy to have participated in this relief effort. The ventilators can still serve well there. However, we hope that they never have to be used. ”

Staff of the Ruhrland Clinick had received the ventilators from different cities in Germany, prepared them for dispatch together with the hospital beds and loaded them into the container with the help of Joerk Deimann and Matthias Ketteler.

The Ruhrland Clinic – University Clinic Essen had already supported Project Aid The Gambia in 2019 with a donation of 21 used hospital beds and other medical equipment.

The 20ft container is shipped from Germany to the Gambia via a port in the Netherlands. The container is scheduled to arrive in the Gambian capital Banjul in late July.

In April / May Project Aid The Gambia has already successfully carried out a “Masks for The Gambia” fundraiser and collected around 25,000 euros in donations. In the meantime, over 30,000 washable reusable mouth-nose masks made of cotton have already been produced in The Gambia from the donations of that fundraiser. Around 10,000 masks were distributed to Project Aid`s Jahaly Health Centre and surrounding governmental health centers.

 

Spendenaufruf-Masken-fuer-Gambia

Jahaly/The Gambia, April 19th, 2020

Dear friends, dear supporters of our projects in The Gambia,

in the sign of the Covid-19 pandemic that affects all of us, almost all of us are currently shifting the priorities of everyday life.

I have been in the Gambia with my wife and youngest daughter for six months. Our Gambian partner association Project Aid The Gambia tries to get involved as a partner of the Gambian government in the fight against the virus.

Seen from a distance, the situation in Germany after many human tragedies seems to be slowly improving to the extent that sufficient hospital beds and intensive care units can be made available for the difficult course if it continues to spread. Hundreds of thousands of tests are performed daily in Germany, and slightly more than 300 only in Gambia since February.

Measures that have been taken in Europe to contain the virus – such as to work from home or to stay at home – can hardly be implemented in The Gambia. As a rule, people cannot do their work from home. There is no social security system. Due to the miserable state of the state budget, it is not possible to pay short-time work benefits or to support affected companies from tax funds.

The ordinary population cannot shop in a supermarket. The people visit local markets and have to move in narrow streets between nested sales booths. Very few houses in the capital region have their own water connection. The further you get to the rural areas, the less often there is an own connection. People meet at public water supply points: wells, taps that have been set up by the government or by NGOs.

Water – an already invaluable commodity in this country due to the heat and drought – is extremely important in combination with soap when used against the corona virus.

Most people in The Gambia are Muslim and wash their hands and feet five times a day, as prescribed by Islam. However, this is more a spiritual cleansing, using only water.

There are therefore a number of logistical difficulties with the provision of water and soap. The use of high alcohol disinfectants that protect against the virus is out of the question. These items are scarce or very expensive.

The Gambia has so far registered ten official corona patients. One patient has died, two have recovered and seven are still in quarantine.

However, because of the few tests that have been carried out, these figures have no meaning at all – they are only registered as statistical accessories. How far an actual “infection” of the entire population has already taken place cannot be determined. In rural areas in particular, the dead are buried within a few hours. Existing symptoms are usually not checked.

At Jahaly Health Centre in Jahaly and at the health centre in Buniadu entrusted to us by Riverboat Doctors International e.V. are the only health centers in the country where patients are only allowed to enter the site when wearing a cotton face mask, which we provide. We also maintain a distance of two meters. We already informed you about this with our newsletter a few days ago. You can read the newsletter again by clicking here.

On April 2nd I sent a letter to the Gambian Minister of Health, Dr. Samateh, and informed him about the use of the face masks in Jahaly and Buniadu and asked to start a national campaign for wearing masks.

Since then, the minister has been kept informed by me about new scientific findings and how other countries deal with this topic. The minister had always shown interest.

At a press conference last Friday, the Minister of Health has now announced that the Gambian government is now advising that self-made face masks be worn in public.

In the next few days we will therefore start a nationwide campaign together with other groups and organizations with which we already work with. It is our goal that the wearing of self-made face masks is not only recommended, but becomes mandatory. The risk of infection is only reduced if everyone wears a mask in public – and in addition to observing hygiene measures.

At the beginning of April we had the first four thousand masks made from cotton. The production of a mask costs twenty-five Gambian Dalasi – about fifty euro cents. We want to have a very large number of these masks manufactured and offer them for sale nationwide. The proceeds go entirely to the production of further masks. We want to make these masks available to poor families free of charge. We want to raise public awareness with a campaign on radio, TV, social media and information posters.

I ask all of you to open your pockets and hearts for this action. We need donations for start-up capital and running costs. There are about twenty intensive care beds in the Gambia, and as far as I know there are 3 (in words: three) ventilators.

If the epidemic spreads here as in certain areas of Europe, many people are at risk of death. Unrest and riots are feared.

I know that my appeal comes at a certain inappropriate time. I am addressing you all now, at a time when you yourself face enough problems. But I also know that you have supported our work in The Gambia for many years: Certainly also because you care about the people on this continent.

So if each of you makes a donation after reading this letter – online here – or directly to our donation account at

Name of Bank:         Genobank Essen

Account number:     200 900 900, BLZ 36060488

IBAN:                         DE57 3606 0488 0200 9009 00 – BIC: GENODEM1GBE

Intended use:           Masks

then we can start this campaign in a few days.

Please also distribute this letter to your relatives, acquaintances, friends. Every little amount helps. Let’s try it together.

I once again greet everyone from The Gambia and hope that we will all see each other again in Germany or in The Gambia.

 

Matthias Ketteler

(Board)

 

More information about why to wear a face mask: www.maskonnow.com

Project Aid The Gambia/Projekthilfe Gambia e.V.

Im Poth 26

D-45529 Hattingen

Germany

Tel.: +49 234 9418322

Email: info@buschklinik.de

Registered at German local court Amtsgericht Essen / Registration number VR 30455

 

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