By Awa B. Bah
The Nigerian contingent serving ECOMIG on Friday June 23, 2017, presented items to patients at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul.
The Nigerian Contingent Commander to the Gambia, Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Sani Adamu, said it is in the spirit of kindness and support that the Nigerian mission came to render the humanitarian gesture, as it in line with their mission to give support to anywhere they are deployed in the world.
Lt. Col. Adamu said the presentation of the items is not new to them; that the relationship between the Gambia and Nigeria is a clean and healthy one and the two countries have been benefitting each other. He called on the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital to make the best use of the items donated and promised that sectors of the Gambia including health and education will also be supported in future.
The Nigerian Ambassador to the Gambia His Excellency Alhaji Mousu Abdourahman, said it is gratifying to see the presentation of relief items to EFSTH as the gesture is laudable and will boost the Nigerian image to the outside world. ‘‘The relationship between the Gambia and Nigeria is very strong. Nigeria used to deploy medical doctors and teachers or specialists to the Gambia. This gesture is a symbol of our concern, as Gambians have Nigerians at heart,’’ he said. The Nigerian Ambassador called for the encouragement of such gestures to be taken by any Nigerian organization in the country.
Her Excellency Vaba Gayflor, the ECOWAS presidential representative to the Gambia, thanked the Nigerian contingent for the gesture. She said the Ecomig mission to the Gambia on peace building was recently extended to one year and she called on the Gambians not to see it as a long period because there are lots of issues to be addressed. She urged Gambians to see the Ecomig mission as peace builders in the country and said mutual understanding and cooperation of Gambians is needed as the world is looking at Gambians for a success story.
The Board Chairman Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, Dr. Adama Sallah, delivered the vote of thanks, while the presentation ceremony was moderated by the Ecomig Medical Doctor, lieutenant Colonel Nwafor. The donated items included three hundred packs of bottle water, five bags of sugar, groundnut cooking oil, washing detergents, onion, juice, Irish potatoes, chicken and other valuable items.
After the presentation of the items, a tour of the wards of the hospital was conducted. Patients admitted at the ward welcomed the gesture and said the donated items will help boost their sprits of recovery and minimize some of the burden of their expenditure. They thanked the Nigerian contingent for considering the patients at the EFSTH and prayed for the accomplishment of their peaceful mission in the Gambia.
The Chief Medical Director at the EFSTH, Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, said the hospital is the apex in the Gambia as most of the specialist treatments are carried out there. The hospital he said, serves as a training ground for medical students and doctors, adding that the hospital is for everyone in this country. The collaboration between the Gambia and Nigeria, he said, did not start today and added his wish is for the collaboration to continue. The coming of the Nigerian contingent to the hospital, he said, was very important and Gambians owe gratitude to them. He thanked the Nigerian mission for their outreach to society. He pointed out that a patient is a vulnerable person and the hospital has benefited from Nigerian doctors. He urged the Nigerian mission to see the Gambia as their home.