April 2022 Newsletter

It is now 4 months since we last wrote to you informing you of the sudden death of our Chairman, Stephen Doerr. He had been key in the running of AOJA and he has left a huge void to fill. His funeral, at the beginning of January, was a fitting tribute, with a packed Church appropriately recognising his life and many achievements. A Memorial Fund set up in Stephen’s name, has to date raised £1,000 and this will be used appropriately in The Health Centre in Jeshwang Village.

Following two Trustee & Committee Meetings I can inform you that Lynn Wilson has been elected Chairman and Peter Tomlin as Vice Chairman and Secretary. The Charities Commission and other appropriate authorities have been advised of these appointments. The Gambian government accepts our facility as an integral part of its health care system and it is the permanent home of the Area Public Health Officer, overseeing immunisation and blood donation programmes. It is the intention of the Trustees and Committee to continue and build upon this good work already long established.

Last year, the original Administrator, Abdoulie Sowe died and, under the newly appointed Administrator, Chernoh Yaddeh a new administration was appointed. A recent report from Chernoh was very positive and highlighted the enormous amount of work and progress that has been achieved, despite the restrictions of Covid and our inability to travel out to The Gambia.

These achievements are in no small way possible due to the generosity of our 113 individual sponsors who have helped maintain our financial stability and enable The Clinic to survive, grow and develop during these very difficult times. We continue to be extremely grateful to our sponsors, particularly as fundraising has of course been severely restricted due to Covid. We are always grateful when new sponsors join us and when current ones feel able to increase their contribution.

The following services are currently offered to the Jeshwang community by the Health Centre:

  1. Maternity (mother and child health clinic).
  2. Medical outpatient (Emergency consultation, diabetes/hypertension management and other).
  3. Laboratory/Pathology (haematology, serological screening. Haemoglobin testing, HIV screening, malaria testing, hepatitis screening, Covid19 screening, urine testing and others).
  4. Dental clinic
  5. Pharmacy services
  6. Birth registration
  7. Vaccination (Covid19, tuberculosis, hepatitis, polio, HPV, meningitis, rotavirus, etc).

This gives a flavour as to how important The Clinic is in Old Jeshwang and how your sponsorship is helping to improve the lives of thousands of people, who might not else survive. It has helped in laboratory expansion and to date 25 tests are conducted as a result of the purchase of important new equipment. Maternal and child health clinics are now held daily. The establishment of the dental department has brought relief to many!

However, one of the greatest successes has been the introduction of 24 hours services. This initiative is geared towards providing accessible and continuous quality services round the clock, which enhances life expectancy and well-being of people within the community and the surrounding areas at all times.

On behalf of us all, a Big Thank You for your wonderful, continued support at a time when it is most appreciated.