Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh
Gambia’s Health Minister
By Buba Gagigo
Gambia’s Health Minister, Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh says his government has started reforms aimed at making its health sector the “best” in Africa.
“The health sector of this country is reforming. We are in the process of reforming the health sector. The government of his Excellency president Barrow is highly committed to giving you the best health sector and we believe that the health sector of this country is going to be the best in West Africa and the African region as a whole,” he said.
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Samateh said reform process is underway would ensure accountability and transparency in the sector.
“The reform process has started, starting with the six building blocks recommended by the (the World Health Organisation) WHO. Health System governance is very important and we are taking very strong steps in restructuring the health sector in enhancing robust government mechanisms in ensuring accountability and transparency in the sector,” the minister said.
The minister made This statement at the induction of 40 medical doctors by the University of The Gambia through its School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences on Wednesday.
The six building blocks recommended by the WHO that the Minister Samateh talked about are: service delivery, health workforce, health information systems, access to essential medicines, financing, and leadership/governance.
While the news of making the country’s health sector the best in the continent is welcoming, it’s important for the country to urgently address the grievance of the striking public and environmental health officials of the sector, for improved and continuous disease surveillance, as well as maternal and child health across the country, among others.