By: Kebba AF Touray

In its quest to pursue affordable, effective and efficient medical care service delivery to the populace, the National Assembly Select Committee on Health has engaged top personnel of the health sector, with the objective of sharing ideas, mapping out challenges and providing solutions.

Mr. Janko Jimbara, Deputy Permanent Ministry of Health, during the session said primary health care is the bedrock on which health care delivery is anchored and during 1970-1980s have seen how well primary health care has been implemented and its impact on the people. He said over this period, attention has been shifted from primary health care to a tertiary form of health care, which he added mostly is exorbitant and poses challenges to the health care service delivery system.

“In recognition of the significance of primary health care as the most important option for developing countries, the Ministry of Health thought of revitalising primary health care to provide quality health care the citizenry. The revitalisation of such initiative has an enormous implication on the resources”, he said.

Mr. Gibril Jarjue, said the health is structure on three components, primary, secondary and tertiary health care levels and that the position of the Ministry regarding health needs of the Gambians is to ensure the implementation of the universal health coverage.

Mr. Sheikh Omar Dibba, Subject Matter Specialist, lauded the national health strategic framework, but called for the implementation of the framework to address the problems of staff attrition, budget allocation among other challenges, so as to ensure quality health care delivery to the populace. He also implored on the citizenry to join hands in the health delivery system, adding that health is a business of all and is multi-faceted.

The Chairman of the Committee, Ousman Sillah said the oversight is a continuation that started last year and culminated into a preliminary report by the Committee. He said the Health Ministry has responded to the recommendations outlined in the report, in which it has provided documents on the basic health care packages 2017, essential medicine list April 2017, and final quantification retreat as per request by Committee. He also urged the Ministry to prepare its report in consultation with the various Units under its purview, to ensure a comprehensive report, that will enable the Committee to stand firm in advocating for the health sector in the Legislative Chambers.

Other officials who contributed during the session include Babanding Sabally, Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Sanjally Trawally, Balla Kandeh program Manager National Malaria Control Program, Alagie Saine, Director of Human Resources, Bafoday Jawara and Dawda Sowe, among others.

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