These difficult days have been a lot for us here at the Bansang Hospital Appeal to take in. The gravity that is faced by this invisible virus, the tragic loss of life, jobs, security, has created an uncertain future for so many. There are many lessons that I hope have been learnt, most of all to make sure that we care and love one another, and appreciate this fragile planet that we all share.
Bansang Hospital are managing the Covid-19 situation extremely well. They are not taking any risks and only 50 percent of staff are on duty at any one time in case the virus is present, while the children of staff have been sent to live with friends or family members. The youths in Bansang have formed a committee to help raise awareness of Covid-19 in rural areas and are trekking to villages and large communities spreading the news.
As you can imagine with no TV or radio the message is not getting through to so many, and open borders are impossible to patrol with the cases present all coming from people who have crossed over the border from Senegal. The cases they have are being managed, track and tracing is done if necessary, and villages are under military surveillance when a case has been reported.
Food supplies are becoming a problem despite a cap that was put on the price of rice by the President of Gambia, Adama Barrow, which was to be expected. Through an online appeal for Bansang Hospital, set up by my daughter, we managed to raise enough money to enable all 382 members of hospital staff to receive a 25 kilo sack of rice each for their family. This was so gratefully received, as not only was it essential, but it was also a huge morale booster for the entire Bansang Family. They are feeling loved.
We are looking to start work on a solar field as soon as it is possible, with all the funding in place, as well as the possible installation of an oxygen plant for the hospital, which would serve the entire region. All 24 health clinics would be served and there would be huge savings on the costs of refills and travel expenses.
The third and final stage of the Children’s Unit refurbishment is nearing completion. It’s two months behind schedule, which is understandable during these difficult times when businesses closed and the lockdown lasted for 46 days. Another two weeks and the children will move back into a beautifully renovated medical ward, malnutrition ward and a newly constructed premature baby unit to complement the existing neonatal unit. The town of Bansang is being cared for and concrete blocks are being made so that the main graveyard can be more easily maintained.
Form’s commitment to helping the patients in Bansang hospital is truly laudable, your support is making the difference to the lives of so many patients and their families. Form is a life saver, and the entire staff thank you. Staff morale is better than any other hospital in the country because of Form Nutrition. You have helped to make Bansang and the community, the very special place it is today.
Form is proud to support the Bansang Hospital Appeal via our Family Feeding Fund. With every purchase we give a meal to someone in need. Normally these are the escorts of patients, often children, who are forced to leave before being medically discharged if they run out of food.
The fund has been so successful that in 2018 we extended it also to provide pharmaceuticals and medicines.
Photo credit: Jake Baggaley