By: Kebba AF Touray
Key actors in the health sector of the country, have appeared before the National Assembly Select Committee on Health to abreast them with their activities and interventions in line with health policy of The Gambia. Mam Njie, Executive Secretary of the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), said the purpose of the Global Fund is to attract, manage and disburse resources through a public private partnership that will make sustainable and significant contributions towards the reduction of infections, illnesses and death, thereby mitigating the impact cause by HIV, TB and malaria, which the various grants’ recipients are better placed to do. Alpha Khan, Deputy Director of the National Aids Secretariat, said the goal of the National Strategic Plans on HIV and AIDS, is to achieve zero HIV/AIDS infection, zero stigmatization and discrimination; that the objectives of the NSP includes but is not limited to the reduction HIV infection by 50 percent, by 2020, reduction of Mother to Child infections, and an increase in the coverage of Antiretroviral Therapy [ART]. He highlighted some of the activities undertaken to curb the disease and among them, the free diagnosis and treatment of TB, regardless of nationality. He disclosed the sustainable financing for TB/HIV and AIDS services, by reducing stigma and discrimination and cross border TB/HIV and DR-TB control as their challenges. Lamin BS Jarju, Deputy Program Manager at the National Malaria Control Program, cited success in ITN usage by pregnant women which stands at 84.8 percent, and increased by 43.6 percent among children under 5 and an increase for general outpatients from 13.6 percent to 66.3 in 2011, to 75.3 percent in 2014. He said Malaria new funding Model stands at US$ 14.7 million for July 2016, to June 2018. He stated the decrease of GF Malaria Allocation from by 38 percent NFM, to program continuation, funding gaps, human resources for health, private sector report inter alia, as their challenges.
The NA Committee members who partake in the information sharing session, lauded the health agencies for a job well done and challenged them to do more in solving the problems affecting the health sector. They assured them of their cooperation. The Chairperson of the Committee Ousman Sillah, said some of the functions of the committee is to perform oversight on the Ministries, Departments under Government and their processes, so as to ensure their operations in accordance with the stated policies, approved budgets and strategic plans of Government. He emphasized that the committee is formed by an Act of Parliament to ensure that institutions operate as stipulated in the Constitution, with the view to ensure affordable, efficient, effective and quality health care service delivery. He thanked stakeholders for their convergence and implored on them to leave up to expectation.