The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of health and social welfare, Mrs. Saffie Lowe- Ceesay has presided over a handing over ceremony of cervical cancer machine to the ministry of health and social welfare from the Francis De Gualle Njai foundation on the 29 December, 2016 at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital.
Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Lowe -Ceesay said the ministry of health and social welfare in collaboration with the American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology conducted training of general healthcare providers on cervical cancer screening, detection, diagnosis and treatment.
She noted that the American Cancer Society for Colposcopy and Cervical pathology is an organisation that has been involved in the training of healthcare workers around the world on colposcopy, LEEP and cervical cancer prevention and treatment. ”The society provided the Colposcopy and LEEP machine used during the practical training sessions of Medical Doctors. The society sent four medical professors who are experts in colposcopy and LEEP to come and train the Healthcare providers in the country which includes sixty (60) general healthcare providers including nine (9) medical doctors across the country and were trained during the lecture and the practical sessions,” she said. Madam Lowe Ceesay explains that government through the support of her ministry bear the cost of shipment for the LEEP machine at a tune of USD1700.00, and the SOS village -Gambia hosted the experts. She added that the village’s clinic was used for the practical training and they offer accommodation and transportation of the experts during their stay in the country.
Dr. Momodou Jasseh of Medical Research Council and a member of Francis De Gualle Njie foundation said their organisation did not have the human resource to donate but they can facilitate and donate equipment that would promote easy access for people to know their status or gain their health. He stressed that the donation would be able to screen the entire Gambian women needed to be screened within six months. Dr. Jasseh noted that the foundation incurs the cost of shipment of the colposcopy machine from the USA to The Gambia at a tune of USD 750.00, the government through ministry of health and social welfare bear the cost of shipment.
Professor. M. I. A. Khalil of the EFSTH, said this donation is a clear manifestation that they are in a world of technology and donating this equipment to the teaching hospital proves that high technology in this hospital would decrease the number of cervical cancer they used to receive “now we can prevent cervical cancer, prevention is substitute for cure”.
Dr. Miguel described this move as crucial to the campaign against cervical cancer, because it affects most of the women. He said this is going to improve their services. According to Dr. Miguel, many women visit the hospital at a very late stage. He noted having this machine would help them detect cervical cancer at a very early stage. “This machine will boost the efforts of the cervical cancer clinic in providing early dictation for women with the disease,” Mr. Momodou Lamin Jammeh, public relations officer (PRO), at the Edward Francis Teaching Hospital, said the machine came as a result of data that were presented to the ministry. He described the donation as timely and purposeful.
He said they were doing the screening by the conventional way.