Acting in accordance with Section 15 (1a) and (4) of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission Act, 2017, the TRRC has delivered an urgent request to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to set up a Medical Board to review the cases of victims of the past regime who suffered bodily harm and need urgent medical attention and to advise the Commission as to their present health status and needs. Victims needing urgent medical attention include persons arrested and detained during April and May 2016 and the survivors of the April 10/11, 2000 student massacre.
Addressed to the Director of Health Services and copied to the Permanent Secretary and the Minister of Health, the letter reads in part: “Taking into consideration the seriousness of the cases and the length of time that some of them have suffered, the TRRC requests that the Medical Board be set up as a matter of urgency to assess and review these cases and give advice on the way forward. The TRRC requests as a matter of urgency, that this Medical Board, once constituted, should execute the following functions with a view to making recommendations for the further treatment and management of these patients:
- Assess each patient and review past treatment and reports of such treatment where available
2. Indicate what form of current treatment and management, if any, these patients are on
3. Make recommendations as to the further treatment and management of these patients
4. Make recommendations as to facilities that can provide such treatment and management either in The Gambia or in other countries
5. Submit a report to the Commission at the earliest possible date”
Once a date is set for the Medical Board to begin its work, the Commission will facilitate the victims’ contact with the designated medical board. The TRRC hopes that the Ministry treats this request as a matter of great urgency.
“We are doing everything possible to see that victims who need urgent medical attention get urgent medical attention at the earliest possible time,” said TRRC Executive Secretary Dr. Baba Galleh Jallow. “We are following up with the Ministry of Health and we are also exploring other avenues to ensure that these victims get the urgent medical attention they deserve.”