Dredging through the archives for some doors, I came across some photographs of The Gambia. I was the Regional Medical Officer for the eastern half of the country from 1982-84. My wife, Sheila, was the Regional Nursing Officer. Our dog, Simba, was the Regional…
But these photographs were taken in 2013 when I was looking for work as a doctor in Africa. This is the postnatal ward in Brikama Health Centre with doors in the distance. This ward looks really smart following renovation paid for by an overseas donor.
The labour ward doesn’t have doors or internal walls, just curtains. I just popped in for a visit and ended up delivering this beautiful baby. Just helping out.
A charity tried to persuade me to work here, but with 6,500 deliveries every year, hardly any drugs, the operating theatre for Caesarian sections was not functioning as it needed “fumigating”, I felt it was too much of a challenge.
I took a decrepit bush taxi from the coast to Bansang, where I used to work. It broke down at Mansa Konko.
I had a soft drink outside the local bar. There is a door in the background.
In Bansang, the old colonial hospital built in 1930, has benefitted from modernisation. Anita Smith was one of the thousands of British tourists who took a holiday in The Gambia but instead of lying on the beach, she decided to raise funds to renovate the hospital. She began in 1992 and has been awarded the MBE (Member of the British Empire) and MRG (Republic of the Gambia). Her work continues, to find out more click here.
These photographs show the operating theatre and recovery room. Very impressive. The Gambia is a centre of excellence for eye surgery, which is done by specialist nurses (the going rate for an ophthalmic surgeon in Africa is one per million population). This is a training hospital for other countries.
I had to visit Binta who was our help 40 years ago. She was very sad when I told her that my wife Sheila had died. She put on her best white outfit and we sat in her courtyard under a tree, drinking tea. Here she is coming out of her front door.