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Gambia: Gambia's Health Care System



The healthcare system in Gambia is built around 3 levels which are Primary, Secondary and Tertiary. There are to date 4 referral hospitals which are operated by the government. In addition there are 8 main health centres and a further 16 smaller centres, 200 plus mobile clinic unit teams as well as the Medical Research Council which is funded by the UK Government. There are also a number of privately run clinics as well as a few health focused NGOs operating in Gambia.

Primary Health Care

This is focused on villages with a population of over 400 individuals where a Village Health Worker and Traditional Midwife would be initially trained then assigned to deliver primary health care to their village of responsibility. They are responsible for providing out-patient care, community health education, ensuring there is a sufficient level of essential medicines and home visitations. Apart from the assisting mothers to be in home births the mid-wife would refer any mothers who seem to be at risk to the local health centres.

Secondary Health Care:

At this level medical care is provided by the large and small health centres. There is around 7 main government-run / private health centres, 12 smaller centres and 19 pharmacies, with each providing in-patient and out-patient treatment. Each has its resident nurses, doctors and ancillary staff.

Tertiary Health Care:

At this 3rd level health services are delivered by 4 main referral hospitals, the Medical Research Council (MRC), several private clinics and NGO operated clinics. The main referral hospital is at the RVTH in the capital on Independence Drive. The other 3 are located at Bansang, Farafenni and Bwiam.

Health care facilities are relatively sparse in The Gambia though new health clinics are being built up country. The centerpiece of the Gambian health care system is the Royal Victoria Hospital in Banjul.

List of Health Centres:
• Bakau
• Banjulinding
• Basse
• Brikama
• Fajikunda
• Farafenni
• Gunjur
• Jammeh Foundation Hospital
• Janjanbureh
• Leman Street (Banjul)
• Mansakonko
• Polyclinic (RVH Banjul)
• Serrekunda
• Sibanor
• Sukuta
• Sulayman Junkung Hospital, Bwaim

Clinics & Hospitals:
• AfricMed Ltd.
• Bijilo Medical Center
• Kololi Clinic
• Lamtoro Medical Center
• Royal Victoria Hospital
• Swedent Clinic (Dentists)
• Westfield Clinic

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