The Gambia is the most recent country to embrace democracy, only just recently disposing of the dictator who ruled for more than two decades. The country is facing severe health challenges, which need to be met with care, consideration and persistence. Malaria, for example, has been one of the major causes of morbidity in the country, especially in child morbidity.
According to the WHO, The Gambia is the fifth highest in the world disease ranking. In the rainy season more than half of the population in rural areas is infected with malaria.
Currently, international attention is on The Gambia since its political changes made news around the world.
We are in the process of setting an example by establishing an interdisciplinary project. We are not only focusing on health but strategically establishing the proper context for the Gambians and create a useful link to their environment. We insist on operating eye to eye with the locals and international experts and truly believe that we can set a duplicable precedent for the world.
The UB-ONE Foundation believes that the chances of other West African countries will take inspiration from a successfully implemented health promotion and disease prevention project are very high.
The Republic of The Gambia or in short, The Gambia, is a West African country, neighbouring Senegal. More than two decades the country suffered under a strict dictatorship, which made it difficult for The Gambians to speak about its problems, far from tackling them.
When Adam Barrow took office January 2017, the political situation changed drastically and opened the way to take on the urgent problems the country is facing. Without losing time, the UB-ONE Foundation ceased the chance and started on the ground research to determine where its efforts can be most impactful.
We started building bridges between the Red Cross Society, SolHEALTH and The Minister of Health to build a strong relationship between government, civil society and an acclaimed international organization.
We believe that this consortium can combine the experience of health experts, the decision-makers of the country and its civil society to promote functioning strategies for disease prevention and health promotion with the focus on Malaria, Pneumonia and Diarrhea.
These three health issues where identified by the Red Cross Society with the assistance of SolHEALTH. When we approached SolHEALTH, it didn't take long for the organization’s director Dr. David Rutstein to visit the country to evaluate how best to collaborate.
Together, we are now developing a plan on how we can collaboratively support the health experts and find additional partners in related areas and supporters.
We are intent to tackle these health-related problems with an interdisciplinary approach, because they are directly linked to the environment, water, sanitation and recycling, as well as education. We plan to train and educate the communities on the risks and prevention methods and build steady and sustainable awareness.
Currently, we are looking for additional partners who are experts in these fields and can join our quest in supporting The Gambia with its main health issues. For this reason, we are connecting consistently with potential partners to establish the best fitting team. For this purpose, our development consultant Celmuun Dawcharbajar attended the IWA Efficient2007 Conference in Bath UK in July 2017 to scout water and sanitation professionals and innovative projects from around the world to collaborate with.
For this consortium, it is of utmost importance that we plan the project towards self-sustained independence as early as possible. One of our main concerns here at UB-ONE is not to create unnecessary dependencies for our projects. All partners are aware that this is a temporary support and we will only participate if all partners continuously agree on the self-sufficiency of this project.
What kind of partners are we looking for? We are open to environmental specialists concerned with water and recycling, educational institutions such as schools and universities in The Gambia and their international partners, especially educational institutes and NGOs in other African countries.
We believe that if we can set an example in the newest country adopting democracy, other countries will be inspired by our strategies and thus we can support more and more communities and peoples.
We are convinced that our strategies can have a great positive impact on the population of The Gambia. Facing people eye to eye, we are working on how we can best tackle our global challenges and build bridges to exchange knowledge and strategies to support and reach the ones in need.
The UB-ONE Foundation is doing its best to bring these people together so we can shape our future as „one “.