We started the UK-based charity Tallinding Children’s Health Centre (TCHC) in April 2013). In March 2015 we gained an HMRC reference number so donations can qualify for GiftAid. This means that for every £ you donate as a UK tax payer an extra 25 pence is match funded.
We support the work of the only children’s health centre in The Gambia which is :
- the smallest country on the continent of Africa with a population of 2,083.140 (2016);
- where 34% of the population live on less than one US dollar per day (2007);
- where only 3.1% of total population is over 65 and life expectancy is 61 for men and 66 for women;
- where 40% of pooulation is under 15 years of age.
(data www.worldbank.org : www.countrymeters.info/en/Gambia and www.economywatch.com/economic-statistics/Gambia/Age_Structure)
The age distribution model is an expanding type and The Gambia population pyramid is common for developing countries with high birth and death rates, relatively short life expectancy as well as low level of education and poor health care. The Tallionding Centre is located in the heart of Serrekunda – the largest urban centre in the country with a population of 46,020, of which 5,531 are under-fives and 20,310 females. (www.countrymeters.info/en/Gambia)
Africa accounts for 85% of malaria cases in the world and 90% of malaria deaths (World Health Organisation – WHO- statistics); check out the Malaria by Numbers video in this website’s Resources section.
In The Gambia:
- There are ½ million cases of malaria each year – nearly 1 in 3 of the population
- 87% of malaria deaths occur in children under the age of five
- Malaria is the single highest killer of children under 5
- 20% of children under age of 5 died from malaria in 2012
- There are 6 nurses to every 10,000 head of population!
Background video on Tallinding Children’s Health Centre (TCHC)
It is a children’s health clinic in The Gambia; 40% of the total population is aged between 0-14 (www.economywatch.com/economic-statistics/Gambia/Age_Structure) and this is very much reflected in the densely populated urban area of Serrekunda.
There are two distinct periods in TCHC activity. June – October includes the rainy season and this is when Malaria can hit hard. During this time, The Centre can keep its doors open till 9 at night. However, this does not correspond with the tourist season, November – May, so tourists rarely see the effects of malaria on the human mind and body. In the hectic period, Tallinding Children’s Health Centre staff sees over 100 patients each day.
Health centre tour – via picture gallery below
aidgambiavisits (AGV) – in person if visiting The Gambia
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Every month the Centre manager, TJ, prepares an end of month report that includes all finance and spending. Since July 2016, TJ the Centre Manager, has been using a budget forecasting tool so that the highs and lows of the year can be better anticipated. After the pump primed funding of the German medical charity Guessenheil.eV stopped in July 2016, it is vital that TCHC is self sufficient with a finance model that reduces its dependence on donations. This is very difficult in a country where there is little or no state assistance so any contributions are always going to have a big impact. It’s worth reflecting that 10 tablets of paracetemol cost 50 dalasi which is virtually one pound sterling – you can get 3 packs x 16 tablets in the UK for that….
The finance principle that TJ the Manager tries to adhere to is that fees paid by the patients cover staff salaries. The target is to raise D1500-2000 each day through fees. However, in many months expenditure outstrips income because medicine purchase rises considerably in the rainy season when Malaria is most prevalent. Consequently, In August 2016 fees were raised across the board in order to try an meet the rising cost of medicine during the rainy season:
- 100 dalasi for consultation – 15 and over
- 50 dalasi for consultation – 6-14
- 10 dalasi for below 6
- FREE for 0-1
- 50 dalasi for malaria testing if necessary
The key, after the initial pump-primed funding provided by the founding German charity Guessenheil.eV, is to maintain sustainability over the long term. TCHC is keen to demonstrate transparency and to demonstrate that it uses all money received for the benefit of its community. And remember the Centre is community-based and treats ALLcomers, turning no-one away – this leads to an additional hidden cost.