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Hand hygiene

The Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) is a public hospital in Banjul, capital city of The Gambia. The hospital was founded under British colonial rule and was known as the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital (RVTH) until 2013. The abbreviation RVTH is still widely used.

To reduce dependence on foreign doctors, the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) became a teaching hospital in the 1990s. University of The Gambia (UTG) is responsible for a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and Bachelor of Science (BSC) there. Nonetheless, the hospital still receives doctors from Cuba, Nigeria, the UK and Egypt and remains heavily dependent on foreign donors to ensure essential healthcare.

Patients can go to the EFSTH for tertiary healthcare, but have to provide their own food. They also have to pay for any medication prescribed themselves. There is often a shortage of blood in the blood bank, which means that family members or acquaintances with the right blood type are actively sought in an emergency. Consequently, family members often stay close to the hospital. Hand hygiene is a big problem in the EFSTH. There is a shortage of basic products such as rubber gloves and disinfectants. The repeated use of these basic products leads to the - avoidable - transmission of pathogens. Thanks to the city link, efforts are being directed towards the exchange of knowledge between medical actors in Ostend and Banjul. For instance, James Gomez, head of the infection control department, came to do a work placement at AZ Oostende - Damiaan hospital.

Ambulances were donated through Medios to the EFSTH and the Red Cross in 2018 and 2019. Those ambulances are still being used on a daily basis. In 2019, Medios supported a pilot project at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital and, among other things, a UV test device for hand hygiene was donated to the hospital.

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