Project for the amplification of the health center at Touba Kolong and the construction of a maternity wing. Unomásuno+. Gambia

Gambia is one of the countries with the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. The lack of qualified personnel is accompanied by an absence of specialized health centers to attend pregnant women or those giving birth. Unomásuno + in partnership with the Dutch NGO Future4all and from the initiative of the Gambian Ministry of Health provide support for the construction of a maternity wing at Touba Kolong. In a parallel manner, within the framework of the present project the training of personnel from the center in maternal and child health will be carried out.


NARRATIVE SUMMARY

Unomásuno+ and Future4all have jointly developed a project to amplify the health center which was built in 2013. This building of 100 sq.m. (50 constructed and 50 forming the porch) was designed as a primary care center for the population of Touba Kolong. The Gambian government, however, has begun an initiative to construct an adjoining maternity wing which will help with the following issues:

  1. Saturation of the ALBREDA and ESSAU health centers by the six highly-populated villages that use them.
  2. The intention of the Gambian government to reduce the rate of maternal mortality that at present represents 430 women for every 100,000 live births.

Up to now, in the southwest zone of Upper Niumi there have been only two health centers with maternity wings: Essau and Albreda. In Touba Kolong there is  only one health center which is inoperable.

In this context, the setting up of infrastructures to attend all the phases of pregnancy, including birth, represents a great improvement in the welfare perspectives of women at childbearing age.

The present project is within the framework of a program for the development and improvement of health care in Touba Kolong and Upper Niumi.

The project is made up of three phases which precede two others which will make a future, separate project. We are, therefore, talking about an improvement program with a total of 5 phases.

  • PHASE 1: This phase is practically finished as it the construction of the existing health center (100 sq.m.) and the agreement between Unomásuno+, Future4All and the Ministry of Health. The agreement is about to be formalized and will become part of the project in a few weeks.
  • PHASE 2: The second phase is the objective of the present project and consists of the amplification of the current health center, the construction of the maternity wing and the training of three nurses. These nurses will be ready to participate in Phase 3.
  • PHASE 3: In this phase the commitment of the Gambian Government will be enforced. According to the agreement, the Health Ministry will provide healthcare material and specialized personnel (doctors and nurses) who be installed on a permanent basis in Touba Kolong. At the end of this phase the center will be handed over to the Gambian government. In this way, after the transition of management, the governmental public sector will manage the health center.
  • PHASE 4: In the fourth phase the design and construction of the two pediatric wings will be carried out. The aim is to amplify healthcare for the mothers and provide coverage for minors. It is also hoped to build an administrative building and accommodation for personnel.
  • PHASE 5: As stated in Phase 3, this final part of the co-operative program consists once again in the provision of material and personnel specifically for the pediatric area. Finally, the last construction of the program will be handed over with a gradual transfer of responsibilities and management.