Archive for the ‘News’ Category

POLICE BRUTALITY IN NEW GAMBIA?

June 18, 2018

No person except sadist would condone the medieval brutality of unarmed civilians particularly in 21st century democracy. Albeit the circumstances encompassing the murder of two environmental activists in Faraba Banta have not yet been established, that fact remains the act is callous and disheartening.

Many are arguably asking for the head of IGP Kinteh to roll without a comprehensive and conclusive investigation of the police involvement of the two murders in Faraba Banta. Hasty conclusions can almost always lead to regrettable decisions. What is prudent is to first established who fired the shots which killed the two innocent civilians. That should follow with the detention and investigation if the officer(s) to establish whether they acted under an order. If it was ordered for them to open live ammunition, who gave the order and to what extend was IGP Kinteh involved.

Perhaps, the officer(s) acted in sheer panick and alone. In that case, the officer will be sole held responsible for acting irresponsibly and unprofessionally. This only goes to reiterate that our security apparatus need urgent and thorough rehabilitation. After 22 years of carrying out heinous crimes for a sick dictator it is absolute necessity for rehabitate and reform the security services. It is virtually the same people who killed and maimed for Jammeh who are still executing security roles for us today.

It is hurtful but we must act with care and due diligence to get to the bottom of this barbaric act. Measures must be in place to avert using medieval brutality as means of curb antiestablishment and prevention of civil manifestations. The Barrow leadership must not only issue a reaffirming statement but act swift to dispense justice.

 

Sulayman Jeng

Birmingham, UK

“SLAVES WERE NOT TAKEN FROM AFRICA”, ASSERTED LAMIN B SANYANG

December 12, 2017

LAMIN SADDAM SANYANG

PEOPLE SAY THAT SLAVES WERE TAKEN FROM AFRICA. THIS IS NOT TRUE.
PEOPLE WERE TAKEN FROM AFRICA AND WERE MADE INTO SLAVES.

I want to inform the general public that, there will be a massive demonstration at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hage on Friday the 15th of december 2017 between 15:00 – 17:00 to condemn black people being sold as slaves in Libya.
Our fellow black brothers and sisters getting sold in Libya and are made in to slaves. Our brothers and sisters are beaten, rapes and kill in Libya.

This brutal, cruel and barbaric behavior in Libya must stop immediately.
How many days, weeks, months does the international communities needs to talk about this inhuman behaviour happening in Libya before taking an actions.

The Arab world are the greatest hypocrites you can ever see on this earth. Their Abrab brothers and sisters are brutally treating our brothers and sisters in Libya. They fully knows about it but they keep their moutrh shut. We are hearing from the ECOWAS, the AU, the EU and the UN condemning it. They are having various talks about it to find the solution, but you HYPOCRITES are keeping quite and pretending that nothing is happening. You may call yourselves a muslim but i’ll not call you Arabs a MUMIN.

I am appealing to all the black brothers and sisters and our sympathisers to come and join this massive demonstraion on Friday, the 15th of december 2017 at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hage and condemn are brothers and sisters being made as slaves in Libya.

For more Information you can contact :

Lamin Saddam Sanyang tel 0654294166
Hon Demba Dem tel 0681841640
Or Alhagie Kijera tel 0619620082.

The venue of the demonstration will be :

Oude Waalsdorperweg 10
2597 AK, The Hague
The Netherlands.

Gambia’s Secretary of State for Trade in Oslo

November 11, 2017

 

Secretary of State for trade, industry, regional integration and employment

The secretary of state for trade, industry  regional integration and employment Dr. Isatou Touray is on a visit to Oslo, Norway. She arrived at Oslo Airport this afternoon, Saturday 11th November and went straight to grace a seminar organized by IAC Norway where she is among the speakers. The theme of the seminar which is currently going on at Western Hotel in the centre of Oslo is “Raising Children in a Polygamous Home”. The honourable minister is expected to visit various government departments and organisations in Norway. She is to pay a courtesy call at the Daru Salaam Islamic Centre in Oslo and there after hold a meeting with the general public of Gambians and friends of the Gambia on Monday 13th November at 6:00pm.

Dr. Touray is among the stakeholders of the coalition 2016 that worn the election last December and ushered in a new administration headed by Adama Barrow. She is the only woman leader of a political entity that joined hands with other political parties to challenge  Jammeh in last year’s presidential elections. Dr. Isatou Touray before entering the political terrain was the leader of GAMCOTRAP local NGO that fights against harmful traditional practices like FGM and child marriages. Follow this media for updates on the secretary of trade’s visit to Norway.

Written by L. Nyassi Norway

CHANGE AGENTS THE GAMBIA – A NEW NGO FOR CIVIC EDUCATION, CIVIC ACTION AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

October 12, 2017

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bertil Harding Highway 

Fajara

Kanifing Municipality

The Gambia

Monday, 2nd October 2017

The Founding Board of Change Agents The Gambia (CAG) announces the formation of Change Agents The Gambia.

Mission

Our mission is to work as agents of change, to cause a greater and more informed participation of all people in civic matters and to promote democracy and youth development.

We seek to do this through civic education, civic action, training and mentoring.

Vision

We are guided by a vision of The Gambia where:

 

  • Citizens make informed decisions, to elect political leaders, not on the basis of tribe, religion, gender or other discriminatory basis, but on the basis of competence and integrity.
  • The rights and freedoms of peoples are respected and upheld and people speak out against injustice.
  • Political leaders and representatives and public servants are held accountable.
  • Laws, policies and decision of political leaders and Government officials are transparent, free from bias and promote the common good.
  • Our diverse people live in peace, unity and mutual respect, working together towards a better life for all.
  • The Gambia plays her rightful role within regional and global communities and collaborates meaningfully with her development partners.

 

Values

As Change Agents, we believe in:

 

1 Accountability We are servant leaders. We believe that to lead is to serve and to serve is to be accountable. We will hold ourselves, our leaders, and all others accountable.
2 Brotherhood United by our belief in the brotherhood of man, and the legacy we seek to leave in common to future generations, we cherish our diversity,  will work for the good of all, and treat one another with respect  and courtesy.
3 Equality

 

We believe in equal opportunity and equal treatment of all people. We reject discrimination on any basis.
4 Justice and Human Rights We believe in the fundamental human rights and liberties and in justice. In our quest for peace and prosperity, we strive to stand up for what is right, seeking justice and fair treatment for all, in the firm belief that without justice there can be no peace.
5 Integrity We believe in honesty, fair play and trustworthiness. We will not put our individual interest above the common interest and will strive to be free from conflicts of interest.
6 Excellence We believe in excellence. We strive to continually improve our skills and competencies. We will be disciplined and diligent in all we do.
7 Humility We recognise that people are differently gifted. We will develop and use our God-given talents for the good of all. We will also recognise and value the talents of others, encouraging them to develop and use those talents for the common good so that in union we may build a prosperous nation.

 

The Gambia is a constitutional democracy. It operates under a constitution which limits the powers of government and guarantees fundamental rights to all people. The fundamental elements of constitutional government are majority rule, individual and minority rights, and the rule of law. The founding board of directors firmly believes that civic education, coupled with the crucial empowerment of our youth, by arming them with the competencies they need to be productive members of society and tomorrow’s leaders, will greatly enhance the democratisation process and contribute to national development.

Founding Members of the Board of Directors

 

  1. Mr. Philip Saine – Chairperson
  2. Rev. Fr. Peter Lopez – Vice Chairperson
  3. Yadi Njie Eribo
  4. Pastor John Njie
  5. Anna Jones
  6. Imam Baba Leigh
  7. Mr. Harona Drammeh
  8. Mr. Gaye Sowe
  9. Margaret Keita – Founder and Executive Director

 

Margaret Keita

Founder and Executive Director

 

BIG DREAMS Inc USA DONATES VEHICLES TO GAMBIA CHAPTER

September 22, 2017

Mr. Sonko explained that their focus used to be on education but last year, they decided to concentrate on health, adding that in the near future they would have health education and nutrition as the key areas of development. He disclosed that they have spoken to some health professionals in the United States and non-profit organisations that serve third world countries with free medication and free health services.

He said they have reached an agreement to invite them to The Gambia with the help of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare who have given them approval to invite the health professionals to The Gambia. According to Mr. Sonko, the 20 health professionals would include doctors, surgeons, nurses and other health experts who would offer free services to Gambians from September 13 to 22, 2018. He further explained that the health professionals would specifically come to help Gambians, starting with Upper Niumi District. Dominica Sonko, CEO/Co-founder Big Dreams Inc. USA, said one of the conditions was to have transportation for logistical purposes for the health professionals while they are in The Gambia. Madam Sonko said if the mission is successful, it would be done yearly, adding that The Gambia would be the second country in West Africa after Senegal where the health professionals would be undertaking the mission.
She noted that the health professionals would bring along medicines and equipment to serve people at no cost, saying their minimum medicinal value is US$100, 000. Mrs. Sonko thanked the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare for allowing them to have such an initiative. She also thanked everyone for their support in making the initiative something promising.

Lamin Kujabi, Chief Executive Officer of Big Dreams Gambia Chapter, thanked Big Dreams Inc. USA for the great initiative, saying this was not the first time as they have been supporting education in The Gambia over the years. He pointed out that one could not have a good education without a good nutrition and health, and as such, the initiative would have a great impact, not only in the lives of the children but communities. He assured them that the vehicle would be used for its rightful purpose.
Hon. Omar Darboe, National Assembly Member for Upper Niumi District, said health, education and nutrition are the keys for the development of a nation, and as such, he thanked the donors for their support. He described the gesture as one way of complementing government’s efforts in their drive to bring health to the doorsteps of every Gambian, as well as education.
Hon. Darboe said government’s doors are open and then assured the organisation of government’s support and cooperation at all times. Pa Lamin Sawo, PRO and Coordinator Big Dreams Gambia chapter, also thanked Big Dreams Inc. for their support, saying they would continue to work hard in contributing to the health, nutrition and education of Gambians.

 

Courtesy: The Point

GAMBIA MEDICAL TOURISM: A BLESSING IN DISGUISE

September 17, 2017

Ousainou Darboe, President Barrow and Chinese diplomat. Photo credit: Mantankara Konko

Gambian President Adama Barrow announced earlier this week that his government has entered into an agreement with Israeli company International Medical Services to build a €220 Million state of the art hospital in The Gambia. At this stage little is known about the agreement, however, it appears as though this is the type of investment that the country needs. Currently, many Gambians travel abroad for health services. According to IMS President Ovadia Yardena, her group is committed to promoting health tourism in The Gambia and will build a modern 350-bed hospital. Ms. Yardena has a good relationship with the Government of Equatorial Guinea.

On the IMS official website, it highlights their “long-standing activity” with the people of Equatorial Guinea. This led to the appointment of Ms. Yardena as an Honorary Consul of Equatorial Guinea for Israel. Equatorial Guinea is currently the country of refuge for former Dictator Yahya Jammeh and their President is one of the longest-serving Dictators in West Africa having taken power since 1979. This may be irrelevant to the subject matter but the involvement of an Israeli medical company IMS in The Gambia requires significant attention, especially from Gambian health professionals.

Medical tourism is when foreign nationals travel to other countries for cheaper, quality health services. These services range from cosmetic surgeries, low-cost dental services, and organ transplantation. These services are primarily provided by the private sector and payments are mostly out of pocket. Private healthcare providers have little incentive to consider population-wide based services, however, the general public must be served through public health interventions focused on the health needs of the entire population or population groups. Individual healthcare, population health, and public policy decisions must, therefore, be premised on best available evidence to avoid poor and inappropriate interventions. This article aims to highlight the pros and cons of health tourism and the involvement of Israel in this booming industry.

Pros of Medical Tourism
There are significant benefits in favor of medical tourism in The Gambia. Patients traveling to Gambia for treatment helps to clear backlogs in sending countries and eases pressure on the demand for health services in sending countries. New health services will now be available to Gambians that can afford it. Previously such services would have to be accessed abroad.

For receiving countries, it will create a new stream of revenue via private-public partnerships and helps to stimulate trickle-down economics by increasing the inward flow of foreign currency. The delivery of construction services for the €220 Million hospital will have a positive impact on the local economy especially if Gambian businesses can feature prominently in construction projects. Revenue generated can be used to improve public health services for the greater population.

Another advantage of health tourism is the importation of new medical technology. The presence of a state of the art hospital can help to provide best practice benchmarking for local health services. A state of the art medical facility will also attract the latest medical technology to The Gambia which could benefit the University and public health delivery.

A thriving health tourism industry will require experts to manage and run daily operations of the hospital. Although this is a private venture Gambian medical experts working abroad could be lured back home, thereby reversing the brain drain of the country’s medical professionals.

Cons of Medical Tourism
In receiving countries, medical tourism contributes to the creation of dual health delivery system, one for rich foreigners and one for poor locals. It leads also to draining of public sector funds and implementation of policies biased to commercial medicine. There are many risks around health tourism such as no congruent treatment and continuity and patient follow-ups. It opens up the possibility of illicit medical practices like illegal organ trade. There are many advantages and disadvantages but the most serious concern is that medical tourism encourages illicit organ trade in poor countries.

According to the WHO’s Veronica Riemer, “while most countries in the developed world have a legal system of oversight for organ transplantation, the fact remains that demand far outstrips supply. As a result, a black market has arisen in many poorer countries enabling those who can afford to buy organs to exploit those who are desperate enough to sell them. Sometimes, people travel to other countries specifically to buy organs they can’t find at home.”

The Royal Society of Medicine highlights the “many risks accompany the inclusion of organ transplant packages among the medical procedures sold to international patients. These dangers are magnified in countries where kidneys are purchased in underground economies or black markets. In these settings, promoting organ transplant packages to international patients’ risks escalating the number of kidneys purchased from poor citizens. Growing demand for transplants prompts organ brokers to increase the number of kidneys bought from impoverished individuals and sold to international patients.”
According to the Royal Society of Medicine study, in the Philippines, poor organ donors sell their kidneys for as little as $2,000. Proponents of commercial organ transplantation argue that poor individuals should be allowed to profit from selling a kidney. However, several studies indicate that the money poor individuals expect to obtain from selling a kidney goes to debt collectors.

Israeli Connection
In 2014 the New York Times published a report headlined “Transplant Brokers in Israel Lure Desperate Kidney Patients to Costa Rica”. The demand for organ transplants is on the rise and this demand will follow hospitals that offer cheap organ transplantation. Many organ transplant experts and journalists highlight that Israel contributes significantly towards the highest receivers of organ transplants. They also have a thriving organ brokerage business with networks across the globe.
According to “a Times analysis of major trafficking cases since 2000 suggests that Israelis have played a disproportionate role. That is in part because of religious strictures regarding death and desecration that have kept deceased donation rates so low that some patients feel they must turn elsewhere. “When someone needs an organ transplant, they’ll do everything in their power,” said Meir Broder, a top legal adviser to Israel’s Ministry of Health.”

In South Africa, the Guardian reports that “Netcare, which also runs hospitals in Britain, took part in an international scam that allegedly saw poor Brazilians and Romanians paid $6,000 (£3,840) for their kidneys to be transplanted to wealthy Israelis.” It’s reported that kidneys “were initially sourced from Israeli citizens, but later Romanian and Brazilian citizens were recruited as their kidneys were obtainable at much lower cost than those of the Israeli suppliers.” This took place in “South Africa’s biggest private hospital group” which admitted to “receiving R3.8m (£342,000) from an illegal organ trafficking scam that included the removal of kidneys from five children.”

Conclusion
Although there is no reason to assume that IMS has or will conduct organ transplantation in The Gambia, significant evidence indicates a heavy Israeli presence in the illegal organ trade. The Gambia has a youthful population and an unemployment problem. This makes them an easy target for organ hunters who usually target young healthy people. It’s not uncommon to read of migrants exploited for their organs. According to the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, “selling purchased organs to medical tourists, organ transplant facilities and transplant procedures should be excluded from medical tourism initiatives. Including organ transplants among the procedures marketed to international patients risks undermining health equity and reducing the number of citizens who have access to organ transplantation.” Countries like Israel that conduct organ transplant have strict rules incorporated in their Organ Transplant Act. This helps to regularise the activities of organ transplant and deters illegal black market activities.

Could it be that the Government, Health and Tourism Ministry, in particular, are not aware of the pros and cons of health tourism? A thorough review of the impact could help the executive make an informed decision for The Gambian people. Health tourism should not be promoted to the disadvantage of public health services. It is possible to strike a balance, however, the dangers of exploitation and the health impact it can have on poor people who donate their organs due to financial constraints can be significant and poses a moral and ethical problem.

Most countries that practice organ transplantation only permit altruistic organ donations and ban commercial donations. This often leads to a black market prompting experts to recommend legislating and regulating commercial organ donations to eliminate the black market. What is certain is that the Gambia will need the right legislation and vigilant monitoring if organ transplantation will be permitted. For The Gambia to make this public-private venture a success, commercial organ transplantation should be excluded from health tourism packages. The government will also need to designate revenue generated from this venture toward improving the delivery of public health services.

Even with rigorous monitoring and the right legislation, there are concerns raised by the Guardian that Israeli pathologists harvested organs without consent. This does not give confidence that Israeli Investors will play by the rules. After all, a €220 Million investment will be expected to generate significant profit.

By Yusef  Taylor, @FlexDan-YT

COMMONWEALTH ASSESSMENT TEAM MEETS PRESIDENT BARROW

September 8, 2017

REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA
PRIVATE Office of The President
State House
Banjul
THE GAMBIA _____________________________________________________________________________

PR/C/220/(ABS)

Media Advisory

Commonwealth assessment team meets President Barrow

Fajara, 8 September 2017 – President Adama Barrow today received a team of officials from the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. The officials had been in The Gambia for a week-long assessment mission, which could soon lead to the country’s full return to the Commonwealth.

President Barrow expressed his pleasure at receiving the Commonwealth assessment team, and thanked them for their mission. He said it was easy for The Gambia to re-apply for membership of The Commonwealth because of the deep-seated feeling by Gambians that they had never really left the Commonwealth family. He described the unilateral decision to withdraw the country from the organisation in 2013 as unfortunate and uncalled for, stressing that The Gambia never wanted to leave. He said: “Nobody wants to be isolated. We want to be part of all international bodies. This was one man’s decision, and not something that was put to all Gambians. If it had been a referendum, the decision would never have been taken.”

The President stressed that The Gambia wished to be fast-tracked to full membership of the Commonwealth once again. He said it was inconceivable for Gambians to remain outside the Commonwealth when other nations wanted to join. The people of The Gambia, he emphasized, had taken a decision in December 2016 about the direction of their future as a new democracy and a new Gambia.

“We are careful and are calculating our steps so that we do not make mistakes,” President Barrow explained. “We believe in the principle of democracy and are positive about our future. Gambians are looking forward to our return to the Commonwealth. So the message is full membership as soon as possible. We are confident that your fact-finding mission will have provided you with all the information that you need, and we hope that the report will be positive, because The Gambia is back.”

Head of Human Rights at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Karen McKenzie thanked President Barrow for the team’s warm welcome in The Gambia, and for the government’s logistical support for a week of very productive meetings with stakeholders.

Ms McKenzie said The Gambia’s membership in the Commonwealth over the years had been beneficial, and provided technical assistance to the country. She explained that the Commonwealth Secretariat would now make an assessment of how well The Gambia met membership prerequisites, and this would form part of the Commonwealth Secretary General’s consultation with member states.

The formal process, thereafter, will entail the Government of The Gambia being invited to submit a formal request to rejoin the Commonwealth. That formal expression of interest would then be considered by the members.

Other members of the Commonwealth Secretariat team with Ms McKenzie were: Dr Roger Koranteng, Head of Public Sector Governance; Ms Marie-Pierre Olivier, Legal Policy Advisor, Rule of Law; and Ms Lindiwe Maleleka, Political Officer, Africa in the Secretariat’s Political Division. The team was accompanied by Ms Saffie Sankareh, Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad.

End

Contact:

Amie Bojang-Sissoho
Director of Press & Public Relations
Office of the President, State House, Banjul
Email:absissoho@op.gov.gm
dpprop2017@gmail.com