Majority Leader Vindicates S/K Central NAM on Drug Shortage at JFP Hospital

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Following serious concerns raised by Hon. Sainey Jaiteh, National Assembly Member for Serrekunda Central, over what he described as drug shortage at the Jammeh Foundation for Peace Hospital in Bundung and the subsequent dismissal of the claim by the hospital authorities as baseless and unfounded, Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta, Majority Leader and member for Serrekunda East, has expressed his view over the matter.

Contributing to the motion on the adjournment debate of the National Assembly last Wednesday, the Hon. Jatta revealed that the situation at the Jammeh Foundation hospital was in fact understated by Hon. Sainey Jaiteh. “If they have drugs, people are not given drugs,” he said, adding that it is very probable that even if drug is available there, it is being given on the basis of preferential treatment.

According to Hon. Tombong Jatta, a lot of illegal activities occur at the hospital as workers there have testified to the veracity of that claim, noting that the workers have vented complaints that are outrageous.
“People living around the area have made similar complaints. Then it is the responsibility of the National Assembly Member for the area, after listening to those complaints, to stand at the National Assembly and say it. And if anyone is to refute it, you must have ample evidence,” said Hon. Jatta. He added that there it is grossly unfair for the hospital authorities to say that they have enough stock when patients are being turned back without drugs.

“JFP is the architect baby child of the president. People cannot go behind the scope that it is President Jammeh’s foundation hospital and therefore they think that it is not going to be looked at.
“Key among the principles of the president is honestly, transparency and accountability. So you cannot just say that you are there and therefore you do whatever you like thinking that people are not going to talk about it,” he added.

He however made reference to section 113, 114 and 115 of the 1997 constitution of The Gambia which, among other things, make provisions on freedom of speech and debate in the National Assembly.
Section 114 of the constitution, he went on, states that no civil or criminal proceedings shall be instituted against a member of the National Assembly in any court or other place outside the National Assembly by reason of anything said by him/her in the National Assembly.

When contacted for his comments, Mr. Ansumana Jammeh, Chief Executive Officer of Jammeh Foundation for Peace, said that the demand is more than the supply at the hospital.

According to Mr. Jammeh, there is no hospital in the country that can provide everything requirement of patients. “Some patients come here and at some point in time, we don’t have specific medication that they need. There are people who criticize Jammeh foundation. I don’t think it’s fair,” he said.
The JFP Chief Executive further added that where even major hospitals refer people to pharmacies, it should not be extraordinary if Jammeh Foundation does the like.

“We are here to provide care for the people and we have no reason to keep drugs here that are meant for the patients. But the reality is that we cannot satisfy everybody,” he contended.

Author: By Baboucarr Senghore & Abba A.S. Gibba
Source: The Point
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