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Sibanor Clinic c/o WEC International P.O Box 86 Banjul, The Gambia, West Africa

History

History of Sibanor Clinic It all started in 1966, when three nurses from Germany arrived in The Gambia. They had already worked for years in Liberia to help the people there. Sibanor was known to them through the Barrons, a couple from UK who had first worked in Senegal. They moved to Sibanor in 1959 to share the Gospel with the people there. Only a few months into their stay, the husband died, and the wife moved back to UK. One of the three nurses, Maria Röbbelen, moved to Sibanor, the other two stayed at the coast in Fajara. She rented a small two room house in the compound of the Manjangs, a family compund where the Barrons had already stayed. (The Manjangs have always been very supportive of the clinic, even now into the third generation!) Before she had time to start language study, the people heard that she was a nurse and started arriving for help. There was no clinic in the whole area, so Maria got busy treating sick people from morning to night. It is reported that on some days she saw more than a thousand patients. The other two nurses came three days a week to help her, but soon that was not possible anymore. So she trained a Gambian young woman, Lucinda, to help her and to stay with her. Very soon it was clear that she needed a proper building and land to build it on. In December 1966 Maria got a 1.5 acre plot of land in Sibanor and a clinic was built under Maria’s supervision between regular clinic days. Ebrima Manjang helped her to find the land, and a five room house took shape. This building is still there today. Here she lived with Lucinda in two rooms and the other rooms were used for treating the patients. She also had women come to deliver, and it is said that some were delivering their babies in her bed, if there was no other room. Other houses were built when the team expanded, two houses for accommodation, one for the nurse training school and accommodation for the female students. In 1970 the first doctor arrived. She started the two year nurse training to help the Gambian staff to take more responsibility. A ward was built, in the beginning mainly as accommodation for patients who needed to stay overnight. Later this was developed into a proper ward with night staff and doctors’ rounds. First Ambulance