By Adama Makasuba
UK-based charity, Humanity First, through its Gambia branch, has given 7.3 million dalasis worth in consignment of health items to Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul.
The donation comes as part of Ahmadiyya Muslims Jama'at's humanitarian support to the nation's health sector to fight against coronavirus and other diseases following the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding between the hospital and the charity organisation.
Humanity First is a UN recognised charity organisation that has its branches in 160 countries around the world. In 2020 the charity’s country branch donated 250,000 dalasis in items like face masks and hand sanitisers to EFSTH.
The materials were shipped in by the UN Agency for World Food Programme.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony in Banjul, chairman of Humanity First The Gambia Baba F. Trawally, Amir of Ahmadiyya Muslims Jama'at, described the donation as great as he said it happened in Ramadan which is a giving month.
"We are gathered for handing over these items as part of complementing the tremendous work of The Gambia government in the fight against Covid-19," he told the gathering.
"In a pandemic such as this it is not just government but everyone has a responsibility to make a difference," he said, adding that: "at the level of Humanity First and other partners we are committed to serving humanity irrespective of their religious belief, skin colour, national origin and ethnic background."
He assured the National Health Services of the United Kingdom and Zeded Laboratory UK that "the items will go a long way in advancing our efforts against Covid-19, in The Gambia" saying "we are profoundly grateful to the National Health Services of the United Kingdom and Zeded Laboratory UK."
Amir Trawally reminded people that servicing humanity is not only "moral obligation but a religious duty and obligation for all Muslims."
Dr Baboucarr Sowe said what the charity procured to the nation in the fight against coronavirus in the country is " to the tune of 7.3 million dalasis."
He commended the ministry of health and finance as well as government Institutions like Gambia Ports Authority and Gambia Revenue Authority in helping to bring in the container items of materials to the country.
Meanwhile, Chief Medical Director Professor Ousman Nyan, described the help as significant as heaped praise on the charity organisation that the " material donation have been quite consistent of high quality and relevant."
"As medical teachers we are particularly more aware about the capacity building that they (Humanity First) have been involved with in the emergency care, surgical skills and in other outreach activities that the members of the medical fraternity of Humanity First have delivered to The Gambian community mostly through our hospital service here at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital," the health professor recognised support of the charity.
Representing the minister of health, Lamin Dampha, PS 2 at the ministry of health welcomed the gesture saying the materials will greatly help in the fight against coronavirus. He thanked the donors for the services they have been rendering to the country.