Big Dreams, Chosan offer free medical care to hundrens of Gambians
By Cherno Omar Bobb
Big Dreams Incorporated (BDI), a non-profit organisation in partnership with Chosan Charity Medical Foundation on Sunday concluded its 2023 free medical mission.
The non-profit organisation in recent years is committed to improving the health and lives of people in both the United States and The Gambia.
Thus, during the 2023 medical mission, hundreds of Gambians and non Gambians alike were offered free quality primary healthcare in the communities of Badibu Salikeni and Kerr Biram in North Bank Region.
BDI believes that access to health care must be universal, guaranteed for all on equitable basis as well as affordable and comprehensive for everyone, and physically accessible where and when needed. It was against this backdrop that the non-profit organisation also committed itself to better the lives of children, who are in need of schooling, medication, shelter, clothing and food.
Mamina Ibrahim Sonko, co-founder of Big Dreams Incorporated (BDI), and coordinator of the free medical mission, described their 2023 mission as a success, further expressing delight in partnering with Chosan CMF to serve Gambians.
He, however, acknowledged that government failure to contribute anything towards this year’s mission affected the outcome of the mission as BDI planned to ship a lot of medication from the United States to The Gambia.
“The Medical Control Agency of The Gambia did not respond our request to bring those drugs into The Gambia.” he said.
Sonko indicated that they’ve also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) where by the Ministry of Health is supposed to provide local transportation, feeding, water and security but unfortunately, the Ministry did not fulfil their promise on any of those areas.
However, he thanked the Almighty that they had good Gambians who came together and supported them.
“We are grateful to those that supported us. We owe this to our country and people of The Gambia.”
Mr Sonko thus encouraged other people to come along and join them to help build the country as government cannot do it all alone.
Haruna Jallow, president for Chosan Charity Medical Foundation, expressed delight with the number of people they were able to offer healthcare.
Jallow observed that Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are a problem in the country. However, he said they also saw a lot of skin infections and eye allergies and conditions that need operations.
He reminded that it is important that people are aware of their status before they escalate and therefore advised people to always check their status every three months if every month is not possible.
“People tend to run away from laboratory investigations but they give you early warnings and ensure doctors advise you on measures to take.” he noted.
Junkung Dibba, Alkalo for Salikeni, who together with his entire family benefited from the free quality primary healthcare mission, said such opportunities are rare and therefore thanked Big Dreams and Chosan for the initative as well as for selecting his community.
Dibba acknowledged that health is the most important aspect of life. “If we were to buy the medicines given to us for free, we would have spent thousands of dalasis,” he added.
Nowthistanding, Gambians are faced with major obstacles in their pursuit of accessing basic healthcare services to save and or enhance their lives.
At the end of the exercise, the left over medicine was donated to Salikeni Health Centre in the North Bank Region.