The Gambia Hospital Project
In late 2009, while working out at 24-Hour Fitness, I had the pleasure of meeting Baboucarr Jallow, an outstanding and highly respected referee for MLS (Major League Soccer). The two of us got to talking about soccer and our lives in general, and when I asked Baboucarr where he was from originally before relocating to the Federal Way, Washington area, he replied, “I am from The Gambia.” With his really nifty accent, that sounded very exotic to me.
I spent some time researching his home country after that and discovered how The Gambia’s medical system could really use some assistance given its high levels of diabetes, HIV, malaria and other illnesses. Public expenditure was at 1.8 % of the GDP in 2004, whereas private expenditure was at 5.0 %. Infant mortality was at 97 per 1,000 births in 2005. There were 11 physicians per 100,000 persons in the early 2000s. Life expectancy at birth was at 59.9 years for females and 57.7 years for males in 2005. According to the World Health Organization, in 2005 an estimated 78.3% of Gambia’s girls and women have suffered female genital mutilation.
It was at that moment the idea struck me how he and I could make a difference if we only put our minds together and formulated a plan.
Since our initial discussion about what we could set as a goal, we have met some very interesting people. Through my friendships with people, we have involved with this project, among others: David Corner from “The Gathering Place,” helping with medical supplies and equipment. David is a wonderful person who has helped out other African nations with medical relief activities over the years. Also, another friend of mine has been rounding up medical supplies from local hospitals as part of this project as well. Antonio Sanchez, currently employed as Senior Analyst and Coordinator of Economic Development and International Relations with the office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen, has been invaluable with our international communication needs. Sanna Nyassi, from The Gambia and former Seattle Sounder soccer great, was asked and agreed to be our spokesperson and carry our message to The Gambia’s government.
Sanna came back from The Gambia with a list of needed medical supplies and David Corner has matched that list with available supplies on hand…it was a 100% match!!
However, we still have another difficult part of this project to overcome, raising sufficient capital to ensure proper and secure delivery of the medical supplies and equipment. If you are interested in helping our project along and would like to know what you can do to help this worthy project make it to the finish line, please contact either Baboucarr or me by dialing (253) 661-2711 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be more than happy to get in touch with you.
Wishing you all the best in 2011 ~
Roger G. Flygare, CEO
Roger G. Flygare & Associates, Inc.