By Kebba Jeffang
The Information Minister Mr. Demba Ali Jawo, has confirmed that The Gambia has already surpassed the globally set target of 85% treatment success of tuberculosis (TB). Jawo made these responses on the 7th of March 2018, as he faced members of the media at his office in Kanifing.
“The National TB Treatment success rate of 85% surpassing the globally set target of 85% and the scaling up of TB treatment centres and the management of Drug Resistance Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the country, has been strengthened over the years,” he said.
Jawo also said the Gambia is on track to eliminate malaria; that the health sector through National Malaria Control Programme in 2017, conducted a feasibility study to fight against this tropical disease.
According to him, residual spraying was used as a strategy and it was implemented in the Central River and Upper River Regions, to control the malaria epidemic.
“Seasonal Malaria Chemoprophylaxis (SMC) was used in CRR and URR, with 850, 000 bed nets distributed in 2017, covering 97% of the population,” he said.
Medicines and supplies
Minister Jawo said the Gambia’s high immunization coverage maintains rates above 90% for all the antigents for children less than one year, as among the best in the sub-region.
“Currently, the country is vaccinating against 13 vaccine preventable diseases and budgetary allocations for the immunization services, has also been increased,” he said.
He informed that the directorate of the National Pharmaceutical Services in collaboration with the Procurement Unit of the Ministry, have successfully completed the annual procurement process of drugs and supplies.
On Maternal Mortality Rates
Information Minister Jawo added that Government is committed to the reduction of the under-five mortality rates and maternal mortality ratio; that significant gains have been registered with an increase of 93% normal delivery and 90.34% skilled delivery at facility level.
“The maternal and child nutrition and health results project, supported the PHC revitalization and expansion by providing essential medicines and supplies,” said Jawo.
On The Doctors’ Sit-down Strike
Jawo said he doesn’t think the sit down strike threat of doctors and medical workers will proceed because the Health Minister has disassociated herself with the remarks published in the media. According to him, Madam Saffie Lowe Ceesay has described the media report inaccurate.