HI supported the first-ever eye screening exercises in both Sintet and Kwinella villages. Before the intervention of HI, many people with complicated eye conditions became totally blind.
Most of the eye conditions seen were caused by the effects of traditional medicines. In Kwinella, 270 students were screened at both Kwinella Lower and Upper Basic School, and 23 were identified with refractive error and within the community of Kwinella 74 people were screened; 10 were identified with cataracts and 7 with refractive error. In Sintet, 205 patients were screened; 23 were cataract patients, 8 had pterrygium and 30 with refractive error.
All patients with cataracts and pterrygium underwent successful surgery. Patients with refractive error were given reading or sun glasses to correct their vision whilst other patients were given some medication such as tetracyline, chloramphenicol, sodium cromoglycate, dexamethasone, cipro.
An elderly gentleman from Casamance (Senegal) was fortunate enough to attend the eye screening exercise at Sintet. He reported that he had been blind for 5 years and found life to be very difficult. After receiving successful surgery, he was able to see and danced all round the health centre thanking God for restoring his eye sight.
Sintet Health Centre
Sintet Health Centre is the main health centre in Foni Jarrol District providing health care to all the people of Foni Jarrol, surrounding regions and even beyond the borders of the Gambia. Approximately 4000 patients benefit from the health service rendered by the health facilities. The centre is run by a Nurse-in-Charge, one RN Nurse, one Community Health Nurse, a public health office and three nurse attendants. Before the intervention of HI, the health facility did not have electricity, water, enough drugs or a medical doctor. This has led to serious medical conditions developing that eventually lead to the death of some patients.
HI is now supporting the centre to compliment the efforts of the Government by installing water and electricity facilities. HI also provides medical drugs and pays for the services of a medical doctor who runs a General Clinic every Sunday to handle critical cases and emergencies that require immediate professional medical intervention. This enables patients to be examined thoroughly and treated on site, or referred to the hospital in the Gambian capital. On average, the number of cases seen on general clinic days (Sunday) amounts to one hundred and fifty patients. The most common cases seen at the clinic are: malaria and hypertension forming the highest, PUD, diabetes, upper and lower respiratory tract infections, skin and eye infections, hernia, several orthopedic cases, gynecological and obstetrics cases. Since the start of service rendered by the Doctor, there has been a remarkable improvement in the health status of the people in the region.
Hl, in their commitment to attaining one of its key objectives, has shipped medical supplies several times, through its USA Rep, Mr Sariang Marong, for distribution among rural clinics throughout the Gambia. The medical supplies include breathing bags, IV administration sets, oral sponge swabs, biopsy needles, blood collection sets, exam gloves, bed pads -- heavy, nasal oxygen cannulas, pap smear applicators, cleaner/detergent/disinfectant, blood pressure sets, ventilation tubes, resuscitators, hot packs, surgical gloves, IV extension sets, tourniquets, blood drawing kits, sterile surgical gloves, spirometers, Normosol-R pH 7.4 IV solution, plastic respiratory connectors, stethoscopes, respiratory filters, suture removal kits, eye shields, eye pads, bed pads, IV start kits, scissors, safety razors, shave cream, MRI kits, ear dressing kits, nasal foreign body remover, nasal aspirators, nasal tools, ear ventilation tubes, and throat packs.