I write to remind you of your appointment by President Adama Barrow, the Commander In Chief as Minister during his Cabinet reshuffled effective Friday, June 29th 2018 to spearhead the affairs of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
It is true that it’s only been a few months since you have taken over your new duties for a better health sector we want. As a stakeholder in the health sector, I can only appreciate how full your plate is. Unfortunately, I am writing this open letter to you to expose certain realities that sovereign citizens of The Gambia are confronted with which you might not be aware of.
Honorable Minister, I am heartened by the appointment of a superstar with your understanding as a health minister. By now, you will have settled in, been brought up to speed by ministry officials and learned how Cabinet sets priorities and policies. Furthermore, I am totally disappointed that the recent budget did not stress health as a major concern. I hope that the health of Gambians remains a priority for the Barrow led Administration.
The last time I checked the Health Sector under your watch is facing massive challenges beyond imagination. Over the past few months, we have heard that services are not effective as expected and citizens are struggling to get the essential health and care support that they need due to the inadequate medicines and facilities at the Hospitals across. This resulted in people especially the rich to go to private clinics for medication.
Honorable Minister, I don’t mean to be disrespectful in this open letter but I submit to you that, we the poor citizens take our families to the public hospital without facilities and proper care while those of you at the climax whom we voted for, to protect and improve our health care facilities take your families to the private clinics. Health should be a priority of the Barrow led Administration as a healthy nation is a wealthy nation.
Please note that in the 21st Century inaccessibility to health care is a violation of human right. We cannot achieve a free zone disease country until and unless we take charge of our health sector and pump into it the required resources needed. We cannot continue to rely on Aid and Grant to improve our health sector.
Honorable Minister, you could recall that 129 Gambian doctors have gone on a sit-down strike some months ago following comments made by your predecessor Safie Lowe-Ceesay who accused them of corruption a comment that did not go well with the said doctors.
I will advise you to work closely with your staff to avoid another strike in order to stay long in that ministerial hot seat, especially, to formulate plans, strategies and policies for a better Health Sector we want as per the National Development Plan championed by President Barrow.
Saidina Alieu Jarjou