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A country situated in the west Africa
with a high infant mortality rate

Mission in Gambia




11,300 km²

Poverty rate

48.6% of the population live in poverty


Rank: 174 out of 188



Physicians per thousand inhabitants



English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars
Mission in Gambia

Gambia, one of the smallest countries in Africa

Health situation in Gambia

Gambia has about 284 physicians in the country, so about 0.11 doctors per 1000 inhabitants. In comparison, the standard is 1.50 physicians per 1,000 inhabitants worldwide and in the EU, it is 3.57. In Gambia, the infant mortality rate is 39 deaths per 1000 live births, far higher than the target set in the Sustainable Development Goals. Life expectancy at birth was 59.9 for females in 2005 and for males 57.7. According to the World Health Organization in 2005, an estimated 78.3% of Gambian girls and women have suffered female genital mutilation.
There were approximately 4 million infant deaths worldwide in 2018, with one-third of them occurring in West and Central Africa.


Geographic description of Gambia

Stretching 450 km along the Gambia river, the country is surrounded by Senegal, except for a 60-km Atlantic Ocean front. The country is one of the smallest in Africa. and with 176 people per square kilometer, it is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa. Most of the population (57%) is concentrated around urban and peri-urban centers.

Mercy Ships heath support in Gambia over the years

Mercy Ships had the honor of visiting The Gambia twice – first in 2000 and again two years later in 2002. During these visits, The Gambia’s government and Ministry of Health invited Mercy Ships to collaborate in running several projects aimed at strengthening local healthcare systems, as well as providing free surgery to people in need of hope and healing. In 2023, Mercy Ships will be serving patients from The Gambia while in port in Dakar, Senegal.

Other help provided in west Africa

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