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GAMBIA: EDWARD FRANCIS SMALL TEACHING HOSPITAL (EFSTH) HAS ONLY ONE FULLY-FUNCTIONAL AMBULANCE – DR. AMMAR AL JAFARI 

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Dr. Ammar Al Jafari, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH), stated that EFSTH presently has only one completely functional ambulance and that the hospital has been experiencing problems with ambulances for over two years.

“Ever since I took over this location, ambulances have been my greatest limitation. I only possess two ambulances. One of the ambulances is completely functional, while the other is used. “When I have an emergency, I call Kanifing or private clinics for assistance because I would never put my patients’ lives at risk,” CMD Jafari told The Voice on Wednesday in an exclusive interview.

The CMD stated that nearly five clinics, including Tanka Tanka, Ndemban, Polyclinic, and the Sanitarium, rely on EFSTH, adding that this strain on the hospital necessitates well-functioning ambulances, as emergencies can arise at any moment from any of the aforementioned clinics.

“I’ve written to the Ministry of Health multiple times, but to no avail. I am defenseless and lack the means to purchase an ambulance. I have no idea who will assist the hospital in acquiring ambulances. “However, if the situation does not improve, I will be compelled to purchase two functional ambulances for the hospital in order to ensure the safety of my patients,” the hospital’s chief medical officer asserted. He added, “I need at least five functional ambulances in EFSTH.”

In the meantime, he characterized the renovation of EFSTH as “extremely slow,” stating that the contractors always pledge that the project will be completed in two weeks.

He also lamented that the Ndemban Clinic is so crowded that some patients must lie on the floor.

“I’ve always pleaded with them to expedite the construction. Ndemban is at capacity, but we continue to admit patients. “This is why I want the Accident and Emergency (A&E) unit to be completed as soon as possible so that we can accommodate some of these patients,” the CMD said in a frustrated tone.CMD Jafari explained that the A&E unit would be of great assistance to the patients, stating that the unit is his top priority and that he constantly urges contractors to prioritize the renovation of the unit and deliver it to him so that he can decongest Ndemban.

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