Plans to upgrade the Basse Health Center, in the Upper River Region to a district hospital are in high gear according to official sources in Basse. The Basse Health Centre, according to officials, is currently serving about 137, 577 people.
Basse, one of the country’s busiest town, is on the border with Cassamance and shares business with most of the countries in West Africa.
Our reporter who was in Basse last week went round to gauge the opinions of the residents of Basse.
Ebrima Baldeh, deputy officer in-charge of Basse Health Centre confirmed the plan to upgrade the health post noting that the initiative is a worthwhile venture.
He said that the current health centre cannot serve the population of the area. He welcomed the initiative adding that the importance of extending the health centre to a district hospital cannot be over emphasized.
“As you can see, this new structure is part of the initiative and if completed,we will have more service for the patients and reduce the congestion in the wards,” said DOIC Baldeh.
On the constraints of the current health centre, he said that the services in the theatre are not progressing due to lack of some facilities, without which effective services cannot be offered.
Mr Baldeh expressed optimism that if the health centre is upgrade into a district hospital, the referral rate to Bansang will also drop and that it will also ease the economic burden on patients who cannot afford to pay for the referral cost as well as maintain the maintenance cost of the ambulance. “Basse catchment area alone has a population of 137, 577 inhabitants. So the number of patients who report to the health centre everyday is too much,” he explained.
Alhagie Samba Tunkara, chairman of the Basse health committe, said upgrading the health centre to a district hospital is long overdue, noting that the population of Basse is increasing rapidly. According to him, the geographical location of Basse simply indicates that the current facilities at the Health centre cannot serve the masses in the area. “Patients are coming from Senegal, Cassamance, Guinea,” Chairman Tunkara said.
For his part, Omar Khan, governor of the region, described the initiative as part of President Jammeh’s unlimited and ongoing developments since he took over the country in 1994.