Dr Ahmadou Samateh

It is unjust and unfair for any person or institution(s) to focus on witch-hunts in times of severe healthcare delivery crisis rather than on the root causes of the problem to get this crisis fixed up for posterity. 

Commissions, Independent Review Organizations and all other review and investigation channels are supposed to be energised and supported without influence and preconception by and for anybody or institutions. 

Their fundamental purpose is to establish the root causes of a crisis and recommend and roadmap a way forward to strengthening and averting possible chances of a reoccurrence of the same or even similar problems in the future- this includes allowing the law to take its due ride on the culprits. 

Kangarooing, scapegoating and sacrificial lamb techniques to these investigations; investigations meant to right the generational wrongs of our health care delivery systems in the best interest of a sustainable Gambia must not be allowed to dilly-dally whatsoever by some hands with vested interest of scapegoating and doing all it takes to catch a single wrong or even a non-existent culprit for the broken healthcare delivery system of our country. 

We are all watching and very closely monitoring what these investigations would proffer to get the souls of these little angels rest well, victims and families get justice and finally fix up a generationally broken healthcare delivery system of our country. 

While I firmly and willfully intend not to influence ongoing investigations whatsoever; it is pertinent to ask some of the following questions:

After the medicines and related products Act of 2014 created both regulatory and professional bodies to regulate issues of personnel, quality, safety and efficacy of drugs and associated products; where these institutions given the needed resources like the food and medicines quality control labs to help in their mandate delivery of safeguarding public health?

Who or what has the authority to provide such facilities and the environment by which the medicines and related products Act 2014 created institutions could leverage to deliver their mandates to the public efficiently and effectively?

Did they do that, and where is the evidence? Have these institutions raised concerns to their line ministry, and when and what came out of it?

Where there in our hospitals and medical facilities, trained personnel,  and consumables to help these angels in such a health care need? Who handled them? Are they trained and qualified for such?

Was there any waste of time and delays in getting these angels the needful external help or referrals? If there were, who or what was responsible?

Don’t we think the delay in scientifically determining the samples to ascertain the cause of death of these kids due to the lack of labs in the country has also contributed to the death of these kids? 

The authority responsible for the provision of such should be liable and blamed for the end of the kids to a great extent.

Must we not blame a broken national healthcare delivery system as the main culprit to this health carnage instead of scapegoating and witch-hunting?

What is happening to our accident victims who sometimes die due to prolonged and delayed referrals because of a lack of orthopaedic-capable national health centres? Who is responsible for the provision of such to our country? 

Is our healthcare delivery system fit for emerging public health issues, needs and purposes? If our health care delivery system is unfit, whose mandate is it to ensure it does serve the much-needed health care and public health gap?

Why is our healthcare delivery system scary to high-profile GAMBIANS, ministers, policymakers etc.? Who must take pride in what they have created and achieved for us in the healthcare delivery system? 

Why must they go overseas and use private clinics for their health checkups and treatments instead of using the best healthcare delivery system in EFSTH, BANSANG, FARRAFENNI, BWIAM GENERAL HOSPITAL ETC., they help create, maintain or improve.?

Let’s all seek answers to these questions as well. Answer them, and we all will get fixed up quickly and for good!

By Abdoulie Bojang

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