A delegation from the US based charitable foundation, the Star Key, led by CEO Dr. William Franklin Austin, paid a courtesy call on the President of the Republic, Mr. Adama Barrow at the State House in Banjul.
The foundation was founded by a renowned philanthropist to give support especially to those experiencing difficulties in hearing across the world. The delegation, comprising specialist doctors from Senegal, Zambia and The Gambia, were accompanied to the State House by Dr. Isatou Touray, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare.
The President welcomed the team thanking them for their support to humanity. He hailed their efforts which fall in line with the flagship of his government’s National Development Plan (NDP 2018-2021).
The team in partnership with the Ministry of Health earlier in the day, also launched the first ever national strategic plan for ear aid and hearing care (2019 – 2023). The program is a flagship, and was described as a milestone in government’s drive for a comprehensive service delivery to all, especially those in special categories of need.
Dr. William Austin, speaking to reporters after an audience with the President, said his efforts are geared towards creating a world where all may hear. “I have come to try and implement a programme here with the President and the Minister of Health so that all Gambians may hear and have the opportunity to reach fullest potentials for their families and community,” he said.
The world has so many people with hearing problems that shuts them from participating; Dr. Williams said his foundation hopes to solve that problem. With such a noble intervention, the foundation hopes to contribute to the development of The Gambia in a meaningful way.
Minister of health and Social Welfare, Dr. Isatou Touray, also described this intervention as “a very important initiative for the ministry of health”. She said this is especially in recognition of the fact that this is the first time the health ministry in The Gambia will have a dedicated unit for hearing problems.
“That is why we engaged the Star Key Foundation so that we can be able to develop such a unit. In the process, a strategic plan was also created that would be created into the national health strategic plan,” she added.
Director of Press & Public Relations
Office of the President, State House, Banjul