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20210415-Neue-Medikamentengebuehr_New-medication-fee

Since April 15, 2021, the Jahaly Health Centre has been charging its patients for the first time a – flat rate – fee for medication of 100 Dalasis (approx. EUR 1.65). Until then – since the clinic was inaugurated in 1991 – drugs had always been given out free of charge. Persistently high patient numbers in recent years (more than 30,000 patients per year) are one of the reasons for this change.

Project Aid The Gambia also believes the introduction of a drug fee to be sensible for another reason: “Development cooperation means putting the economic basis of projects on your own two feet,” says Matthias Ketteler, founder and board memeber of Project Aid The Gambia. “Patients’ participation in running costs is a necessary step and reduces dependency on foreign aid. ”

In the past few weeks, the patients at the Jahaly Health Centre had been informed about the introduction of the flat-rate drug fee in personal conversations and via a local radio station. The fee was positively received by the patients. In the surrounding governmental health facilities there are hardly any or no medication available, so that patients have to buy their medication themselves in – mostly – private pharmacies at increased prices.

“We guarantee that there will always be enough medication available at Jahaly Health Centre in the future,” says Matthias Ketteler. Project Aid The Gambia has just bought medication for approx. 18,000 euros in order to refill the drug stocks at Jahaly Health Centre.

In the course of the introduction of the drug fee, the registration / consultation fee for children between the ages of five and 15 has also been increased slightly. The fee is now 30 Dalasis (EUR 0.50)  instead of 25 Dalasis (EUR 0.40) as before. Children under five years of age pay – as before – 15 Dalasis (EUR 0.25), adults – as before – 30 Dalasis (EUR 0.50).

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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

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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

Spendenaufruf-Masken-fuer-Gambia

Our fundraiser “Masks for The Gambia” was a great success. After the publication of our last newsletter on 04.04.2020 and the call for donations “A letter from Gambia” on 20.04.2020, donations of 21,778.00 euros have been received in our bank account to date. Via Facebook we received another 2,673.70 euros in donations for the campaign – a total of 24,671.70 euros.

We thank all donors wholeheartedly for their small and large donations. 20,000 euros were transferred to Project Aid The Gambia in late April. 30,000 masks have already been produced there – and production continues…

The first masks were delivered in early April: 1,000 pieces to Jahaly Health Centre and 500 pieces to the Health Center Buniadu, which we run on behalf of Riverboat Doctors International e.V.

In Jahaly and Buniadu, patients receive a mask, which they return after their visit. The cotton masks are then soaked in hot water with detergent overnight and washed out and dried the next day before being handed out again. The two health centers were the first and only health facilities in The Gambia to have masks for staff and patients.You can watch a short video on Facebook here (just click here).

Matthias Ketteler, chairman of Project Aid The Gambia, initiated and organized the mask campaign on site in The Gambia before returning to Germany with his family in early May.

The Corona situation in The Gambia itself is somewhat confusing. Officially, the government has the situation under control – but to us the authorities seem overwhelmed. It took weeks of effort for Matthias Ketteler to obtain approval from the Gambian Ministry of Health to provide masks to state run health centers free of charge. There are neither medical masks nor simple mouth-nose masks available.

On Thursday (June 4th, 2020) we finally got a list with 23 health centers and local health posts in the Central River region, CRR, around Jahaly, to which we distributed a total of 8,000 masks at the beginning of this week, 500 and 250 each. We also made our project truck available free of charge to volunteers, who across the country distributed rice, sugar and oil to families in need, due to the lockdown.

There have been officially 28 Corona cases (as of June 10th) in The Gambia, five of which are active. 22 patients have recovered, one patient has died. A high number of unreported cases must be assumed, since there are only insufficient test capacities available. So far, just under 2,000 tests have been carried out and 800 contacts followed. 130 suspected cases are in quarantine. The state of emergency in the country was again extended by 21 days on June 10th. The markets that are vital for the population, but also mosques and churches, are reopened under certain conditions. We do not know whether our kindergarten can open again before the summer holidays begin in mid-July. The biggest problem, however, is that “social distancing” doesn’t work in The Gambia. The government strongly recommends wearing masks in public. On the big markets and on the ferries, however, we observe that nobody adheres to it.

The health system is poorly equipped: only 20 transpirators and eight intensive care bed units are available for a population of 2.3 million. Boergel GmbH, a German company, has provided us with 12 used transpirators for The Gambia. Inquiries from other companies are ongoing. Unfortunately, for weeks we have also been waiting for an urgently needed official request from the Gambian government. Together with donated hospital beds from the German hospital Ruhrlandklinik, the relief supplies are to be shipped to The Gambia at the end of June. We thank you very much for all these donations.

In Jahaly we now are also selling personal masks to patients and their escorts for a small fee (20 Dalasi, approx. 35 cents). After the initial reluctance of the villagers, we have now sold over 360 masks to them. Many people, especially in rural Gambia, do not believe that the virus exists. Where should they find out about it – without access to newspapers, radio, TV or social media? We have sold several thousand masks to companies in the coastal region or other NGOs in the country, e.g. to the Children’s Village Bottrop in The Gambia. The Serekunda Hospital, the largest city in The Gambia, has received 400 masks from us for free. Our masks can also be purchased in some pharmacies. All proceeds go to the production of further masks. With each mask, buyers and users receive a DIN A5 leaflet, which explains the hygienically correct use of the masks in text and images. We had several tens of thousands of copies of this leaflet printed.

On Friday (12.06.2020) we were hostd by Star TV-The Gambia on the program “Talk to Malik Jones”. Project Aid The Gambia’s project coordinator Ebrima Jobarteh and Dr. Eliazer Rodriguez reported on our projects and our contribution in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in The Gambia. Dr. Rodriguez currently supports us as a medical advisor. Please watch the entire program here:

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On 24.01.2019 Project Aid The Gambia, Projekthilfe Gambia e.V. (Germany)  and Dr. Isatou Touray, Minister of Health *, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to improve health care in the rural Gambia.

1. Initial situation
The state health service in The Gambia is disastrous. The larger state run hospitals lack medicines and medical devices. The same applies to rural health centers spread across the country.

The rural health centers  are structurally and hygienically in a desolate condition. Very few have a supply of electricity and running water. Health centers connected to the electricity grid have a monthly budget for electricity (“cash power”) that is too small and often used up in the middle of the month. Nocturnal births take place in the light of flashlights or cell phones.

The lack of medicines means that patients need to buy their medicines for treatment in nearby private pharmacies at overpriced prices. These private pharmacies are operated by well-trained nurses who were formerly employed in the state health care system and are now lacking the state system.

Specialist doctors are missing throughout the country. For example, in Gambia there is only one diabetologist who can treat only a very small number of diabetics – and that only in the capital  area of Banjul and only with the help of an association in Germany.

Many rural nurses have left the civil service because the ministry can not provide them and their families with housing in or near the health centers.

Medical equipment donated from Germany and other European countries often does not last long, as there are no training ocapacities for technical personnel and / or lack of money for maintenance and repairs.

In 2011/2012, Project Aid The Gambia e.V., with funding from the German BMZ (Federal Ministry for Cooperation and Development), rebuilt the state run health centre in the village of Njaba Kunda as a model clinic and handed it over to the Gambian Ministry of Health.

In 2009/2010 Project Aid The Gambia e.V. carried out a structural survey of all 33 then existing rural health centers. Floor plan drawings and photos are available from that survey.

Through the project described below The Gambia could become a model region in Africa.

2. Project description

Buildings / Equipment

  • The health centers shall be renovated / renovated.
  • The hygienic conditions shall be improved: creation of a water supply, tiling of all premises etc.
  • In each chealth centre a small laboratory shall be set up
  • Housing for staff, not from the surrounding villages, should be created (new building)
  • Establishment of a central “Facility Management” team of local craftsmen who are responsible for maintenance / repairs of the buildings (planned: over a period of 10 years after initial   renovation or new construction

Energy and water supply

  • If possible, all rural health centers shall be equipped with an uninterruptible 24/7 (solar) power and water supply – by installing small PV systems including storage batteries.

Medical Equipment

  • Medical equipment (second-hand) for state hospitals shall be get hold of in Germany (donation or purchase) and be shipped to The Gambia
  • Training for technical personnel
  • Creating a facility for maintenance / repair of medical equipment locally in The Gambia

Drug supply

  • The existing system of free delivery of – non-existing medicines  – to patients shall be abolished. Patients shall in the future purchase prescribed drugs at the purchase price (wholesale prices) plus 10% surcharge. This has already been agreed in the present MOU.
  • From drug sales and patient treatment fees, new medicines can be purchased
  • The procurement of medicines incl. Logistics (delivery / storage) should be outsourced to local private wholesale pharmacies.
  • This would cut off the business basis of the small private pharmacies in the neighborhoods of the health centers. The owners  (nurses) would return to the state health service.

 

Health Centre App

Project Aid Thee Gambia is currently developing an App for smartphones, with which the operation of a health centers can be completed, including

  • Registration of patients
  • Revenue fees for medical treatment and laboratory services
  • Diagnosis / treatment inclunding medical guidelines for the treatment / medication of the most common diseases
  • Laboratory results
  • Issue / prescription of medication
  • Possibility of data transfer from  of symptoms / diseases to UN / WHO or other international organizations.

The app sends all data daily and automatically for evaluation to a central server (via Internet or SMS)

Information on the number of patients treated and diseases are available on the same day.
The accumulation of diseases in specific places / regions and possible incipient epidemics can be detected and combated at an early stage.
Information about the number of medicines issued is available on the same day and can be used for reordering / logistics.
In larger health stations, a small network (“intranet”) with server (PC, laptop) for data storage / forwarding must be set up. Prerequisite for this is an uninterruptible 24/7 power supply. This is guaranteed by the installed PV system(s) and storage batteries.

 

3. Status of the Project 

At the moment Project Aid The Gambia is awaiting information from the Gambian Ministry of Health about

  • Number / designation of the rural health centers to be renovated / renovated
  • structural condition of each health centre
  • Connection to the mains
  • staffing
  • Number of patients / year
  • Existing medical equipment in state hospitals
  • lack of medical equipment in state hospitals

Subsequently, the financing requirement can be determined, a cost calculation and a scheduling can be worked out. At present, partners are being sought for the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

* Update: On March 15th, 2019, the Minister of Health, Dr. Isatou Touray, was appointed as the Vice President. On March 27th, 2019, Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh was appointed as the new Minister of Health.

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20170730_MK-Mass-Haddy-mit-Kinderakten-01The cooperation between Project Aid The Gambia (International NGO A57)  and the Friedensdorf International (Peace Village) in Oberhausen/Germany will be continued. The two organizations recently confirmed this after a discussion. In October the next mission of Peace Village in The Gambia will take place. Sick and injured children, who can not be helped medically in The Gambia, are presented to the members of the team of Peace Village. The team then decides on the spot, which children  can be treated overseas in Germany. At the moment the management team at our project office in Manjai Kunda saves the medical reports and documents of the children who are on the waiting list for overseas treatment by Peace Village. In order to improve the medical preparations for overseas treatments in Germany and to ensure professional preliminary examinations, Project Aid plans to expand the management team by a trained nurse and to work with the MRC (Medical Research Council) in The Gambia. After the return of the children to the Gambia, the nurse will also look for their aftertreatment.

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Mass-Suso-u-Matthias-Ketteler-4-Ausschnitt
Dear members, sponsors and friends of Project Aid The Gambia!

On 1 June 2017, our new project manager in Gambia, Mass Suso, started his work.

Mr. Mass Suso, aged 39, possesses widely ranged capabilities of management skills. He holds a Diploma in Management Studies and a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Administration. He attended professional training for Leadership and Project Management. In his last position he worked as the Human Resources Manager as a member of the senior management team of Radville Farms Ltd. in The Gambia.

The Board of Project id The Gambia is looking forward to working together. In the first months, Mass Suso is supported by Biba Mousa, who was a project manager in 2011/2012.

The background of changing the management can be summarized as follows:

After an astonishing joint resignation of the four-strong management team as well as the joint resignation of all the project employees of Jahaly Health Centre and Kindergarten in Jahaly all projects in the Gambia were steetering on the brink of collapse, after 25 years.

Jahaly Health Centre was closed for 17 days. The clinic staff did not resume their work until June 6, 2017.

The former management team submitted incomplete, late or not at all the necessary information from the projects needed for the decisions of the Management Board. Information from the Management Board to the employees in Jahaly were not disclosed.

The former management team replaced a letter from the clinic staff in which salary increases were demanded by its own completely different version, titled “Letter of Resignation” and sent it to the board in Germany.

After further investigations, the Management Board will decide whether the former management in the Gambia will be charged with criminal charges for falsification of documents.

The Kindergarten remains closed and will open again in September after the summer holidays. Project Aid The Gambia is currently under negotiation with the Gambian government, which is set to provide the teachers for the kindergarten from the new academic year. The Gambian Ministry of Education has already announced the willingness to do so. Project Aid The Gambia remains responsible for the buildings, for renovations and teaching materials.

This cooperation with the Gambian government is initially planned as a pilot project for a period of two years. In so far as the quality of education and care of children is maintained, the Board of Management of Project Aid The Gambia considers such a cooperation to be forward-looking in development cooperation: non-profit organizations such as Project Aid are responsible for building and maintenance and overseeing the organization and structure of the projects. The government provides the staff.

If this cooperation does not develop to the satisfaction of Project Aid The Gambia, the employees would return to the Project Aid after the pilot phase.

By saving the staff costs for the teachers of the kindergarden, funding is available to Project Aid, which the Manament Board would like to use in the long term to support further state Health Centers and schools.

The first such project where Project Aid The Gambia is going to take over the responsibility for buildings and technical installations (water / solar) and for the supply of drugs is the state run Njaba Kunda Health Centre.

In this context, the Board of Management of Project Aid The Gambia has decided on a strategic reorientation of the project work in The Gambia:

  1. As a model clinic, Jahaly Health Centre remains completely in the hands of Project Aid The Gambia
  2. The Moringa plantation is still operated by Project Aid The Gambia
  3. The kindergarten is run in a two-year pilot phase in cooperation with the Gambian government
  4. Njaba Kunda Health Centre as a joint pilot project of Project Aid The Gambia and the Gambian government leads to a new organization of rural health care in The Gambia

A detailed report is available on request. This report will be presented at the next regular annual meeting of Project Aid The Gambia in Germany.

 

Sincerely, Your Board of Management

Project Aid The Gambia / Projekthilfe Gambia e.V.

Matthias Ketteler, Frank Heuer, Dieter Lieken, Ulfert Engelkes, Thomas Wiegeman

Hattingen/Germany, June 12th, 2017

Sign-board-Jahaly-Health-Centre-Buschklinik

Sign-board-Jahaly-Health-Centre-BuschklinikVACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT

Project Aid The Gambia invites suitable qualified applicants for the position of a Midwife preferably State Register Nurse (SRN Midwife) at our Jahaly Health Centre CRR.

 

SUCCESSFUL APPLICANT

The successful applicant will be provided with a suitable accommodation with free electricity and water supply 24 hrs daily.

SALARY

The salary attached to the position is negotiable depending on qualification and experience.

TO APPLY

Interested candidates for this position can submit their application with the relevant documents to the Project Manager at the Head Office in Manjai Kunda Tel: 4461187 or 9937432/ 6937432/ 3041229. Email: projectaid@work.gm

REFERENCES

Names and addresses of two referees are required.

DATELINE

All applications should be submitted on asap.

_____________________

PROJECT AID THE GAMBIA

International NGO A 57

P.O. Box 4540 Bakau

The Gambia / West Africa

phone: + 220 4461187

fax: + 220 4461162

email: projectaid@work.gm