Monday, June 5

President Barrow expresses government commitment to achieve Universal Health Coverage

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

As WB holds Mid-Term Review to highlight achievements in health sector

By Yunus S Saliu

Highlighting the achievements made in the health sector from 2020 to 2023 at the World Bank held Mid-Term Review of The Gambia Essential Health Service Strengthening Project, the president of The Gambia His Excellency Adama Barrow through Minister of Finance, Hon Seedy Keita, has shown his government commitment towards the attainment of the targets set out for the health sector.

The Minister of Finance, Hon Seedy Keita on behalf of the president said “my Government is committed to achieving universal health coverage by ensuring inclusive, equitable, and quality health services delivery to enable all Gambians and residents of The Gambia to be healthy to achieve their full potential. Thus we are putting in place appropriate and well-equipped infrastructure, increasing the number of health workers and building their capacities as we accelerate our tireless efforts to grow the economy, enhance hope, dignity and uplift livelihoods in The Gambia.”

Taking into consideration the importance of health, he said adequate investment in healthcare will no doubt lead to improvement in the health sector and bring quality healthcare near the doorstep of the population.

“My government’s commitment to the health sector is abundantly shown by the huge infrastructure investment made since 2020. Excluding salaries and other support to the health sector, my government has spent more than 394 Million Dalasis to rehabilitate the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital and the Poly Clinic, and build 6 new health facilities across the country in Njau, Tumana, Mankamang Kunda, Kissima Jaw, Kiang Jali and Salikenni,” he highlighted.

He noted that the Mid-Term review allowed him to witness some of the achievements registered since 2020 with the implementation of “The Gambia Essential Health Services Strengthening Project” and the COVID-19 Response Project and I am indeed happy with the progress registered thus far. And I appreciate the $110 million grant from the World Bank to the health sector since 2020.”

On Human resources for health, he said his government through the World Bank’s support established a postgraduate medical school and has also employed more than 16 international experts in different areas who have started work and are providing training in 6 specialties in the country.

“For the first time in The Gambia we have more than 6 specialists trained at home in different fields and we will also witness the rollout of more specialized nursing, dentistry, and pharmacy programs as part of my government’s agenda to use a more efficient model in the development of our human capital stock for sustainable development,” he added.

With his government’s belief in access to healthcare is a human right, he said every single individual living in the Gambia is entitled to receive the best healthcare possible.

He outlined some other achievements which include the state-of-the-art teaching hospital in Farato, the construction of the national Emergency Treatment Centre Intensive Care Unit, national public laboratory, national blood transfusion center, and diagnostic imaging center.

“I would like to commend the World Bank for the additional support provided for the renovation, expansion, and equipping of health facilities across the country. More importantly, the Bank is also supporting the preliminary studies and subsequently the construction of two new regional hospitals for Brikama and Basse,” he appreciated the World Bank.

On drugs and food safety, he said his government is committed to providing high-quality medicine which meets local and international standards for the people, saying with the support of the World Bank, “The Gambia will soon witness the construction of a high-quality Laboratory Complex in Brusubi to test both food and drugs coming into this country to make sure that Gambians get access to safe drugs and food.”

He, therefore, thanked the World Bank Group for its financial and technical contribution to this project and its continued support and commitment to the development of the country.

“I want to reiterate my government’s readiness and commitment to supporting the World Bank and the entire UN system and other partners in the implementation of the Country Partnership Framework for The Gambia FY 2022-2026,” he expressed appreciation to the partners.