Tuesday, June 6

Stakeholders highlight 2020-2023 achievements of health sector through World Bank Review

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The Gambia Essential Health Services Strengthening Project (P173287) ($30 million) approved in October 2020, along with additional financing of US$50 million approved in November 2021, is aimed at improving the quality and utilisation of essential health services.

The project has been supported through the national expansion of performance-based financing of health facilities. The WB financed the introduction of results-based financing in the health sector in 2014.

Speaking at the occasion held at the SDKJ Conference Center in Bijilo, the minister for Health, Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, noted that the occasion witnessed some of the giant strides the government has taken to recover from the pandemic and provided citizens with the required services for better living standards.

As part of the recovery, he said, the Ministry of Health has finalised its new National Health Policy 2021-2030 and its accompanying investment plan –  the National Health Sector Strategic Plan 2021-2026 with a vision to ensure a healthier and more productive population through universal health coverage.

He said that their mission in the new policy is to create an enabling framework for full participation and provide leadership in the integrated delivery of quality, effective and responsive health services and prevention measures to improve the physical, mental and social well-being of all the people in The Gambia.

The Minister stated that the government through the Ministry of Health has started taking major steps as part of the World Bank support to train health workers to refurbish, expand and equip primary health care facilities across the country.

He revealed that the government through the support from the bank has established post graduate programmes for health care personnel in various categories and also established a national health insurance authority to facilitate the roll out of health insurance to support the country’s universal health coverage attainment drives.

Ms Feyi Boroffice, World Bank resident representative, stated that The Gambia has seen many positive changes in the health sector over the past few years – progresses the World Bank is proud to be part of.

She stated that they had one of the first COVID-19 projects at the World Bank here in The Gambia, which was approved in record time in April 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic and since then, they have committed $110 million in grants to the health sector.

She noted that the World Bank has supported health initiatives across The Gambia, with a focus on improving access to quality healthcare services for all. She added that their goal has been and remains to help build a healthcare system that is responsive to the needs of the people, and one that ensures that no one is left behind.