Neonatal team improves care in the Gambia

Posted on Friday 12th August 2022

Staff from our specialist neonatal unit in Gambia

A medical team from our specialist neonatal unit is helping to improve healthcare in the Gambia.

The team of 15 nurses, surgeons and doctors from the neonatal unit at Evelina London Children’s Hospital and King’s College London travelled to the West African country in May.

During the week-long visit, the team supported the neonatal unit and children’s wards at the Edward Francis Small hospital in the capital city Banjul.

They joined ward rounds, assisted clinics and supported 19 operations, including bowel and abdominal surgery, and the removal of a tumour from a baby.

The team also provided training for the hospital’s junior doctors and donated medical equipment.

Medical facilities in the Gambia are much less resourced compared to the UK and many lack adequate healthcare staff and medical supplies.

The visit was led by Dr Hammad Khan, consultant neonatologist at Evelina London Children’s Hospital. He said: “I’m extremely thankful to my colleagues at Evelina London Children’s Hospital for joining this trip. It was a real privilege to visit the Gambia to support Edward Francis Small hospital. They were really welcoming and are doing a brilliant job working in a challenging environment.

“The healthcare service in the Gambia is very different to the UK. They have much less resources and during the time we were there we witnessed some of the challenges they face providing healthcare.

“This trip is part of an ongoing project. The aim is to work in partnership with healthcare professionals in the Gambia to support them to provide safe and effective care. We hope that this will ultimately help improve the lives of children and young people living in the country.”

The team were in the Gambia from the 23 to 29 May. They are going back at the end of the year and plan to go twice a year.

The trip was funded and arranged by the charity Humanity First, which supports health services in West Africa, South America and southwestern Asia.