It is with great honour and renewed sense of inspiration that I report to the Board of Trustees and entire membership of the Francis DeGaulle Njie Foundation that the Ministry of Health and the Board and Management of the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) have decided to name the newly refurbished Gynaecology Department of the Hospital after Francis DeGaulle Njie. The “Francis DeGaulle Njie Gynaecology Centre” was opened and inaugurated on Sunday, 8th December 2019, by His Excellency the President of the Republic of The Gambia, Mr. Adama Barrow. Although the Foundation members were informed about the event only about four hours to scheduled time, a sizeable delegation, led by the Founder and Chairman, were able to witness the occasion. The event was also graced by several Honourable Ministers, the Chairman and members of the EFSTH Board, and staff of the Gynaecology Department.
Prior to the cutting of the ribbon to signify the official opening of the facility, HE the President of the Republic had a brief but significant chat with the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Founder of the Foundation. He was briefed about the cordial link between the FDNF and the Gynaecology Department of the Hospital, outlining the significant activities jointly embarked upon over the years and supported by the Foundation. These include the training of Nurses stationed in major health facilities across the country, refurbishment of the Cervical Cancer Unit, and procurement of a Colposcope from the USA. The Minister of Health pointed out that the FDNF stood by and supported the Hospital at a time they experienced dire financial and management crises. The President expressed appreciation over our efforts and encouraged us to continue supporting the Hospital, as well as inspire other organisations like ours to compliment Government’s efforts in providing affordable health care to all Gambians. We also extended our sincere gratitude and delight for the recognition of the efforts of the FDNF by the Board and Management of the EFSTH, to the extent of naming the refurbished facility after Francis DeGaulle Njie.
Following the official opening and inauguration of the Centre, the President and delegation and members of the FDNF BOT were taken on a conducted tour of the facility by the Minister of Health. State-of-the-art equipment were on display and their respective uses explained by the Head of Department, Dr. Patrick Idoko.
This event undoubtedly marks a significant milestone in the history of the Francis Degaulle Njie Foundation. On one hand, it signifies the beginning of the realisation of our goal of immortalising the name of Francis DeGaulle Njie, as the main Hospital in the country will for a long time to come fly the flag of the Francis Degaulle Njie Foundation. This is indeed a major achievement. On the other hand, we have been handed our biggest challenge ever as a Foundation. This is the challenge of meeting heightened expectations of the FDNF from Government, other stakeholders and the general public. The least we can do is to add more such feats to our profile. It is a tall order indeed.
Whilst I congratulate all Trustees and members of the FDNF for the hard work and dedication to the aims and objects of the Foundation which culminated to this special achievement, I want to single out the relentless efforts of our Advisor and former Chairperson, Mrs Vivat Thomas-Njie, under whose dynamic leadership of the Health Sub-Committee all the highlighted activities were conceived, planned and implemented. On my behalf, and on behalf of the BOT, we express our sincere gratitude to Mrs Thomas-Njie for her selfless sense of duty and love for humanity.
Dr. Momodou Jasseh