The Gambia Hospital Project
For years pregnant women in The Republic of The Gambia have suffered through the pain of childbirth in a hospital without window panes, sanitary bathrooms, or enough power to complete surgical procedures safely. Electricity was often intermittent with staff frequently using their cell phones to help illuminate the operating room during power outages. Many women instead opted to deliver their babies at home, sometimes with devastating results.
Brikama Health Centre is one of the few hospitals in The Gambia that provides free medical assistance to area residents. Nearly 10,000 babies are born there every year.
A casual conversation between one of our members, Ed Gronke, and his physical therapist, who was from The Gambia, resulted in our club learning about the decrepit hospital condition. That led to a six-year long project mired with delays due to Gambian political upheaval, but eventually finding success in 2021 with a beautiful, renovated hospital.
The Rotary Club of Clackamas and The Clackamas Rotary Foundation teamed up with The Brikama Society of Seattle and several other Rotary clubs to raise $52,500. Early reports indicate that loss of life has already declined sharply.