Newsletter March 2015.
What exciting news – our maternity unit was completed on 4th March.
There was a grand opening ceremony in the village on Wednesday 11th March attended by many local dignitaries; a representative from the British Embassy; a representative from the area Health Authority; four trustees – namely Terry, Joan, Fay and Pauline and many local people.
Some of the school children sang their national anthem very movingly and the women sang and danced in every speechmaker – a very colourful and entertaining spectacle.
We had visited Nyofelleh the previous week to generally look at and admire our new building and were able to be introduced to our new midwife Mr Gibba Bakary. Gibba appears to be very happy to be in Nyofelleh and is now living in our visitor’s quarters with his wife Adama and 2 small children. Gibba will also have oversight of the clinic as well as the maternity unit. He also informed us of an interesting piece of research recently carried out in The Gambia in that a majority of women in the survey indicated that they preferred a male rather than a female midwife.
The first baby was born in our unit within 24 hours of the opening ceremony – a little boy rapidly followed by the birth of 2 girls and we understand that all babies and their mums are doing well.
There is still work to be done and some repair work to Gibba’s accommodation needs to be done urgently. Then we need to attend to the furnishing of the maternity unit as to date we only have 2 beds and a delivery couch. The list is potentially long – we have a need of more beds, table and chairs, benches for antenatal patients to sit on, a small fridge for the safe storage of vaccines and more bed linen and towels.
We had a visit to the school and met with the head and some of the teachers. The school roll has increased again underlining the need for our continuing support. We were able to make a further donation to the general school fund to help with the provision of basic teaching materials.
We had a very enjoyable evening visit to the village to see Jaliba Kuyateh – king of the Kora – a very popular Gambian musical group. Some of us just felt the need to go out and buy an African style dress. You simply couldn’t sit still and listen to the music – great that it was – you just had to get up and dance.
Everything that we have accomplished is as a direct result of the generous support we receive from our donors and supporters and by holding fund raising events – of which there will be more later on in the year. Follow us on our web site or on Facebook.
Many thanks for your continuing support.
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