Project information

Equip a lab for Jappineh Village Health Centre

The village Health Centre serves a very poor population of nearly 30,000 people in rural Gambia. It treats 500-800 patients and delivers at least 20 babies each month.

A fully functional laboratory on site will improve our ability to diagnose and treat common tropical illnesses such as malaria.

June 2011 - December 2020

Charity information: African Oyster Trust

African Oyster Trust logo
  • Need


    Eliminate the need for seriously ill patients and pregnant women having to travel long distances for routine blood tests.

    Because of the difficulties and costs of travelling to the nearest lab in Soma, some patients simply can not make the journey until their condition deteriorates to a critical stage.

    These laboratory facilities will ensure quick, cheap and accurate diagnosis - accesible for all of the community.


    By having a fully equipped laboratory on site, staffed by a trained lab technician. Patients will no longer have to travel in order to have routine blood tests. Installing a solar fridge will also enable us to store vaccines, such as tetanus, for emergency administration and keep other medicines at optimum temperatures for longer shelf life.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To improve access to diagnostic facillities and outcomes for seriously ill patients.


    » Equip a laboratory as well as providing ongoing consumables and parts and maintenance for equipment. Pay ongoing salaries and training for lab staff.

    What success will look like

    Success will and accurate diagnosis of common tropical diseases leading to appropriate treatment and better survival rates.

    Time and medicines will not be wasted.

  • Impact


    General improvement to Jappineh community health.
    Measurable reduction in maternal and infant mortality, better survival and cure rates for malaria and for other infectious tropical diseases.


    The main risk is the difficulty of securing skilled servicing and parts for complex equipment such as centrifuge, solar fridge etc.
    We purchase lab equipment through the Department of State for Health Central Laboratory stores so that we can call upon their expertise and store of spare parts whenever required.
    We already have good time tested procedures in place to deal with the inherent financial risks of working in West Africa.


    Our website contains frequently updated reports and blogs by visitors.
    One of our people spends about 8 months of each year in The Gambia and personally supervises work there.
    We also publish a regular newsletter.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £7,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,500 solar fridge purchase of Stecca vaccine quality fridge
      £1,000 solar panels for dedicated fridge circuit
      £500 circuit, controls installation of solar circuit for fridge
      £600 centrifuge multipurpose for blood samples etc.
      £400 heamoglobinometer for specific blood count samples
      £500 neubauercounter for blood typing work
      £500 glassware, etc. test tubes, pipettes, capillary tubes etc.
      £2,000 salaries.consumables Ongoing salary for lab technician and replacing consumables

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    KASTIA Foundation £1,500 Guaranteed
    Pippa Zinitillis £1,000 Guaranteed
    James Holden £1,000 Conditional
  • Background


    Jappineh is in Jarra, Matsakonko region of Central Gambia.
    This is a heavily indebted, remote and extremely poor area which relies mainly on subsistance farming. Gambia itself is an extremely poor country which is rated 10th from the bottom in the human development index. Average incomes in this region are under £1 per day. Even the cost of travel to the nearest town's clinic is beyond the means of most of the local population.


    The medical centre is the only one serving a population of around 20,000 people from Jappineh and surrounding 20 smaller villages. The nearest large hospital is a good two hours away. The journey involves pot holed dirt tracks and a ferry crossing. There is only one major teaching hospital in the whole country which is approximately 5 hours away.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have been involved in various projects in The Gambia for 12 years and have worked in the Jappineh village area for 8 years. Kira Dalton spends considerable time there and is an advisor to the local management committee. That means the project would be very closely supervised.

    We pride ourselves on having no salaried staff or expenses and very minimal (1%) administrative overheads.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Lady Kira Dalton

    African Oyster Trust representative. Resident in The Gambia for 8 mths of the year. Advises the Jappineh Development committee Knows the people

    Ansumana Manjang

    Head Nurse/Midwife and Clinical Director Oversees the work of the clinic Responsible for ongoing staff training Lives on site, available 24/7

Wide catchment area covered

Wide catchment area covered


major essential piece of laboratory equipment