British Embassy supports WHO in Fight against Ebola

Sarjo Camara Singateh
Dr. Charles Segoe-Moses, the World Health Organisation (WHO)Ambassador Crorkin and Dr. Taal
Country Representative to the Gambia, with assistance from
the British Embassy in the Gambia, has donated medical equipment to the Health Ministry in support of Ebola response and preparedness at a ceremony held at the organisation’ offices at Kotu.The British Embassy donated D800.000 (eight hundred thousand dalasi)
while the WHO provided D1.5 million (one and half million dalasi)
which went to procure the medical equipment.
In handing over the equipment to the ministry, the WHO Representative
said the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak poses far-reaching health,
economic and social implications to individuals, families, the health
system and the country at large. He added that the economic
repercussion of Ebola affects both the affected and unaffected
countries.
Dr. Segoe-Moses said since the EVD outbreak was first notified to
WHO in March 2014 by the Ministry of Health of
Guinea, nine other countries have reported cases of the virus.
“Although today, many of these countries are Ebola-free, or have
reduced transmission, intense and widespread transmission still
continues in Sierra Leone, while new cases still continue to be
reported in Guinea,” he revealed.
He said the risk of transmission of the virus to neighboring countries
still continues to remain high and there is no room for complacency
and that in this regard, countries which are not yet affected like The
Gambia need to reinforce existing Ebola preparedness and response
measures that  were developed since March 2014. Importantly, he added,
there is a need to intensify  support to strengthen surveillance,
investigation of alert cases.
“I am presenting to you the following items on behalf of the United
Nations to further cement our existing interventions and to supplement
Government’s efforts in strengthening Ebola preparedness efforts.
These include: 300 Heavy duty PPEs,100 Body bags, Triple Packaging
for safe handling and shipment of suspected EVD samples, 500 copies
of Hand hygiene posters,500 copies of safe EVD sample collection
booklet,500 copies of safe EVD sample shipment booklet, 500 copies of
EVD Case Management Handbook and 5 Billboards on EVD Signs and
Symptoms” said the WHO Rep.
Dr. Segoe-Moses said the procurement of these essential medical and
non-medical items are for the Ebola Treatment Center based at the TB
Sanatorium in Banjul.
“We will continue to work closely with and support the Gambia, through
your able Ministry, in ensuring that the country is free from Ebola,”
concluded the WHO Rep.
The British Ambassador Colin Crorkin said the level of preparedness of
the Gambia is high and that there is still no sign or a single case of
Ebola yet in country.
Ambassador Crorkin said the Gambia is open to business and
expressed hope that tourists would come back and make this season or
the next season a success.
Dr. Makkie Taal, the Permanent Secretary at the ministry of Health and
Social Welfare, said the items are timely and it will go a long way to
enhance the country’s fight against Ebola.
He noted that the Gambia still remains safe and the ministry is doing
everything possible to safe the country from the Ebola Virus.
Dr. Tall further informed the gathering that the three quarantine
centres  identified are in good shape.