Following the visit of the Gambian leader Adama Barrow, Turkey has pledged to help renovate and improve the capacity of Gambia’s main referral hospital and provide it with new equipment for better service delivery.
Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, Gambia’s main hospital, has a 500-bed capacity but it has recently been under increasing pressure with some old equipment.
President of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), Serdar Cam, who was in the country to do a study on the project has met President Barrow, health minister Saffie Lowe and foreign minister Ousainou Darboe on Tuesday.
“I have come to make a study because the hospital needs renovation and also to provide necessary new equipment and technology to the hospital… We are expecting that in a shorter period of time according to the approval of the budget and plan, we will start the project and increase the capacity of the hospital,” Cam told The Voice Newspaper prior to his departure for Ankara.
“We have also talked about opening a TIKA office in Banjul to follow our projects in The Gambia… It will also be easier to increase support in The Gambia,” Cam said.
Turkey is also building extra blocks at the country’s national assembly. and have also discussed the meeting of the hosting of the OIC and hoping that Turkey could support The Gambia in this area.
In a press statement from the presidency on Monday, Barrow said the visit of TIKA president “demonstrated the seriousness with which President Erdogan of Turkey attached” to their discussions during his visit.
Last year, the Turkish government has agreed to grant free treatment in Turkey to 25 Gambians who cannot be treated in the small nation.
(Reporting and Writing by Mustapha Darboe; Sourcing from The Torch; Editing by Sam Phatey)