By Mustapha Ceesay
Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh has informed the people of Farato that the settlement will host the new emergency treatment centre, national laboratory, blood bank and teaching hospital due for construction for use by the Health Ministry.
He made the disclosure on Saturday, in his speech at the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of a clinical waste treatment plant in the Kombo South settlement at Farato farm.
“…we want to tell you that, Farato is becoming a hub [for medical facilities]. This is just the start. This is the beginning of a big project in Farato. The entire complex [Farato farm] has been given to the Ministry of Health to develop. So, from now onwards, after this project [the clinical waste treatment plant]. In the next few months, we will come and do another launch which will be the construction of the emergency treatment centre of 100 beds in Farato, very soon,” Minister Samateh disclosed.
He continued that the settlement will also play host to the new national reference laboratory and a national blood bank the country plans to construct soon.
“The new national reference laboratory of the Gambia is going to be on this land, [and] the new national blood bank for this country is also going to be on this land again, very soon. And to cap it all, this plot is what is going to host the new teaching hospital of the Republic of The Gambia,” the Minister said.
The ceremony attracted scores of people including the Governor of West Coast Region; Chief of Kombo South District, the Alkalo and Imam of Farato, the Chinese Ambassador, World Bank staff, among others.
Samateh further informed the elders of the region and place that their settlement will be a very busy town in future, because it will attract people from all over The Gambia for medical services that are not available in any part of the country.
“So, Mr. Commissioner [Governor], Alkalo, and Imam, your Farato is going to be a very busy town in this country. It is going to attract people from all over this country, because people are going to come here [Farato] for medical services that are not available anywhere in this country,” Dr. Samateh informed.
The Health Minister concluded that with regard to the construction of the teaching hospital, the Chinese government has pledged to support the construction.
The laying of the foundation stone for the construction of the clinical waste treatment plant in Farato which is funded by the World Bank is expected to complete in four months. The site for the construction of the facility is Farato Farm, formerly under former President Jammeh, but now given to the Ministry of Health to develop.