By Fatoumatta K Jallow/Awa Touray

The Gambia Association of Public Health officers (GAPHO), on Saturday January 26th 2019, concluded the second edition of the Public Health Awareness week. The awareness week is said to raise awareness on the functions of public health and creates greater visibility on its achievements in the country.

In partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, this year’s public health awareness week was dedicated to discussing the challenges of the country’s health system, with a view to making it more effective and responsible to the needs of the Gambian population.

The President of GAPHO Balla Musa Joof, said the public awareness week was meant to create greater awareness on the functions, achievements and prospects on the challenges of public health in the country and to address the challenges of the Gambian health system; that one of the key activities done during the week was a symposium on the Gambian health system, which brought together speakers from both Government and non-state actors, to share their perspectives on the performance of the health system by making recommendations and share it with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders.

Joof reveal that public health works to track disease outbreaks, prevent injuries and shed light on why some of us are more likely to suffer from poor health than others; that the many facets of public health include speaking out for Laws that promote smoke-free indoor air and seatbelts, and spreading the word about ways to stay healthy and giving science-based solutions to problems.

He said the awareness activities will strengthen public health capacities and services, with the aim of providing conditions under which people can maintain good health, improve their wellbeing and prevent the deterioration of their health.

In conclusion he said public health focuses on the entire spectrum of the health and wellbeing of the citizenry and not only the eradication of particular diseases.

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