By Adama Tine
In response to the Ministry of Health’s request for support to ensure availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) at facilities especially for frontline health workers, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), with funding from the People’s Republic of China Aid on Wednesday procured 400,000 gloves for the Ministry.
Other medical items donated included maternal and newborn care supplies and medical appliances, medical supplies for healthcare workers and hygiene products, worth over D31 million (US$620,000).
Speaking at the presentation held at the medical central store in Kotu, Ma Jain Chun, Chinese ambassador to The Gambia said the most serious pandemic in a century is still wreaking havoc in Africa, adding that in the face of COVID-19, the Gambia government and its people have taken strong measures to slow the spread of the virus.
Ambassador Ma said China will do its utmost best to provide needed support to African countries with international communities, including United Nations agencies and WHO representatives.
“China is willing to help The Gambia improve its medical and health level through medical equipment and medicine donation, sending medical teams and Human Resources cooperation,” he further said.
He also said that the Chinese government will provide The Gambia with 200,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine as a grant.
“Minister Samateh and I are communicating and coordinating on the preparations for receiving the vaccines,” Ma said.
Kunle Adeniyi, the UNFPA Country Representative commended the Chinese government for their continued support to The Gambia and for partnering with UNFPA to support the people of the Gambia as part of South South cooperation efforts.
“The covid-19 pandemic has crippled health systems in the readiest of nations,” Mr Adeniyi said.
Therefore, “this calls for strategic collaboration by all actors to ensure that our people, especially those often left behind are catered for to put into consideration on the national response and their families, communities and the nation as a whole are provided with quality care at all times” he added.
He reaffirmed UNFPA’s commitment to support the government and people of The Gambia in preventing the spread of Covid-19 as well as ensuring the continuous provision of essential health services especially reproductive and maternal health services.