Wellingara health clinic

The Wellingara Community Health Clinic

The Wellingara health clinic is a special project that has been driven by community need and the passion of the people that are involved. The CIS identified that Wellingara needed their own clinic after a couple of tragic events in the local community and discussed the situation with Meg, one of the founders of 1to3. As a retired nurse she was able to see the strong need for health care facilities in the community, particularly after one of the women from the adult literacy class died in childbirth. The fundraising campaign has been and still is, active both in the Gambia, run by CIS and in the UK, run by 1to3.

Now, five years after it was originally conceived, the main building is complete and a testament to the hard work of the local community and generous donations of the supporters both here and in the Gambia. The health clinic has grown from an idea to a reality that will make a significant difference to the lives of the people of Wellingara.

The land for the health clinic was located and bought near the centre of Wellingara. After planning permission was granted the building work commenced in September 2005, and was supported through the ‘buy a block’ campaign. Much of the manual labouring has been done by local volunteers.

This project is something that the local community is extremely enthusiastic about and they are doing all they can to help. Community meetings were held throughout Wellingara to consult the villagers about their concerns and needs. Th CIS has also done some fundraising locally (musical shows, donations and contributions by compound heads) that was used to purchase sand, cement and gravel to do the perimeter fence of the site and also to start the construction work. The community came out at weekends to provide unskilled labour such block-casting, digging the trenches for the foundations, fetching water and providing food for the workers.

The clinic consists of an outpatient centre, ante-natal and post-natal care, a labour room, pharmacy and a laboratory. It is hoped that eventually, a house will be built on site for a doctor so that the clinic can cater for inpatients too.

An ex-Mondo Challenge volunteer and an anonymous donor, made a major contribution towards the digging of a 38 metre deep borehole. A village Elder, Mustapha Cham, said “ With access to clean water, the people within the area are already receiving a health benefit from within the clinic even though it is not yet operational”.

Any contributions are gratefully received. Click here to make a donation for the health clinic.

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