By: Kebba AF Touray

The Director General of the Central Drug Store (CDS) Babanding Sabally, has indicated that the country’s main drug store faces acute power shortages hindering their work.

Sabally also cited inadequate skilled human resources and the high attrition rate, inadequate compensation and motivation of personnel, inadequate financial resources and lack of sustainable medicines and financing mechanism, as their main constraints. He made these assertions during the visit of the NA Select Committee on Health’s visit to his facility.

He said the National Medicines Policy (NMP) aims to contribute to the attainment of quality health services for the population of The Gambia through ensuring the continuous availability, accessibility and affordability of essential drugs of quality, safety and efficacy and promoting their rational use, ensure that essential drugs are made available to the population at affordable price, ensure that all drugs available in the country are safe and of good quality and ensure the continuous education and professional training for pharmaceutical personnel and other health workers, for the effective implementation of the NMP. He explained that the National Pharmaceutical Services Directorate, Medicines Supply Management and National Medicines Control Agency are the implementing agencies.

He said the enactment of Medicines and Related Products Act of 2014, New Pharmacy Council of 2014, establishment of the directorate of pharmaceutical services in 2015 and the construction of the Central Medical Store’s warehouse and office complex in 2007, are among the major successes of the pharmaceutical sector. He further cited the procurement of good quality and affordable medicines, maintenance of the quality and security of medicines throughout the distribution process, provision of adequate resources for timely, efficient and equitable distribution of medicines and medical supplies cure, as the strategies.

The Committee members in response assured the health sector of their support in Legislature in ensuring that a healthy budget is allocated to them to enable them deliver quality, efficient, affordable and accessible medical care and services to the nation. At the end of the visit, the committee was taken on a conducted tour of the various sections of the facility.

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