Since 2002, the Port of Harlem Gambian Education Partnership (POHGEP) has been connecting Americans and others with Gambians. After a three years lapse, I, as POHGEP president, was able to return to my old stomping grounds to observe what we have been during virtually and to forge new opportunities. As always there were some interesting moments. Take a read:
The day I got this notice from the United States State Department on my cell phone via its Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) program about increase home burglaries in The Gambia: “Exercise increased caution in The Gambia due to crime and inadequate health infrastructure,” two people were killed and two others were injured in a parked car in front of an apartment complex in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
On the following day, I spoke with Dr. Ceesay at the Fanjikunda Health Center. We hope to begin working with them at providing health information at the Phillis Wheatley library in Neme Kunku. Yes, the health system in The Gambia is not like that in the United States. In fact, I always buy traveler’s health insurance that will fly me out of The Gambia, if necessary, and/or repatriate my remains.
Meanwhile, in the US, Democratic Georgia lawmakers, local officials and the NAACP are asking federal officials to investigate a health care system that closed hospitals in downtown Atlanta and a southern suburb, claiming Wellstar Health System has illegally discriminated against Black people and violated its tax-exempt status. (Also see: Black Hospitals Die, How Does Gary’s Remain Alive).