By Sailu Bah
The communities of Siffoe and five other surrounding villages in the West Coast Region will soon start benefiting from the services of a newly constructed dispensary which is scheduled to officially commence operations in January 2015.
This was disclosed by Kalifa Kanteh, one of the pioneers of the Gambia Rural Poor Association, a community based organization (CBO) which built the new health facility in Siffoe.
Mr. Kanteh, talking to this reporter in an interview at the premises of the new facility on Tuesday, 29th July 2014, said this project was successfully implemented by his organization with support from their partners in Denmark.
He said their CBO was established in 2004 and registered with the Ministry of Justice in 2008 and that its main objective is to help communities in sustaining initiatives in the areas of health, education and agriculture. He said the organization seeks to empower the women and young people.
On how their organisation operates, Mr. Kanteh explained that the beneficiary communities are represented at the management level and that each clan (Kabilo) in the village selects a woman to represent them in the executive.
“This organization has ventured into providing numerous services for the people of Siffoe and other villages. We have helped Siffoe in the expansion of their water facilities, given out scholarships to young people, helped women small holder farmers to improve on their farming production, among other things,” he said.
Mr. Kanteh said since Siffoe has now grown into a big village, his organization has felt that it is necessary for it to be provided with a proper health facility for the benefit of not only its inhabitants but those in neighbouring settlements.
He revealed that the organization has succeeded in securing an ambulance and of which families will be asked to be making a monthly contribution of five dalasi (D5) each for its operation and maintenance. He added they have also created employment for some young people who are engaged as collectors to be going round to get these contributions from the families.
On the available facilities at the dispensary, Mr. Kanteh said it consists of a Labor Ward, five Delivery rooms, a Pharmacy, a Laboratory, Doctor’s Room, Outpatient, a Theater, Technical Room, a Drug Store, and Nurses Room.
He also disclosed that the health facility will have a doctor who will be serving the five villages and that a nurse will be stationed in each of the concern villages to take care of the patients, adding that the doctor will be going round to the villages in accordance with a prepared roster.
He concluded that they are looking forward to working with the government and other NGO partners