By Ousman A. Marong
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of The National Association of Gambia Nursing and Midwives (NAGaNM), Sanna Darboe, has said many nurses at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital EFSTH are going on leave of absence (leave without salary) in which some have already reigned.
Mr Darboe has made these revelations to The MAMOS Media, during a telephone interview on Friday, 7th August.
“So many nurses are going on leave of absence (leave without salary), some have already resigned from EFSTH,” said Mr Sanna Darboe.
The NAGaNM Spokesman said some of the nurses have withdrawn money to buy medications and foodstuff to distribute it to different quarantine centres strictly for their colleague nurses only. He said NAGaNM has on several occasions engaged the authorities to look into the plight of nurses and doctors before the beginning of the pandemic.
“We have been going up and down meeting and engaging the relevant authorities, but our efforts remained futile. As the current situation, we received complaints from our comrades a few days ago. We went rounds to find out if their complaints are factual, to our dismay, worst is happening,” he remarked.
He said after their visit to different treatment centers where their colleagues who were tested positive of the disease were kept, they realized that their conditions were not encouraging.
“Their conditions were quite horrible and no one was providing them with any medical attention. Some were packed at hotels where they are not looked after. They are there on their own doing everything for themselves,” Mr Darboe said.
The NAGaNM Spokesman went on to say that every citizen has a right and responsibility to take care of him or herself.
He added: “In any situation, where you have all the nurses are being infected or quarantined no one will be there to take care of the patients.”
He confirmed that more than 45 Gambian nurses have been tested positive of the deadly virus while others are currently under quarantined.
“These people have families to take care. If they are not having the necessary materials to protect themselves, meaning they are putting their lives and families at risk,” said PRO Darboe.
He noted that NAGaNM currently needed support from everyone home, abroad and from the government.
“Family members should encourage and give support to the nurses and doctors and stop influencing them to resign or leave without salary,” he advised.
He opined that if such trend continues everyone would end up leaving the profession while leaving the patients to die in the hospitals.