By: Ndey Sowe
The Government of the Gambia through the Ministry of Health, has signed an agreement with development partners called Gambia’s Health Compact.
This Compact, sets out the understanding and agreement between the Government of the Gambia and its health partners, and aims to accelerate the achievement of the Universal Health Coverage (UNC) that will lead to improve an equitable health outcomes for all citizens, through the National Health Sector Strategic Plan 2014-2020 (NHSSP) and the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-2021, in line with the UNC2030 Global Compact. This signing ceremony was held on Wednesday 17th April 2019, at a local hotel in Kololi.
Dr. Isatou Touray, the Vice President in her statement, said the day marks another giant step towards successfully implementing the road map “we have collectively put together, to realize the aspirations of the National Development Plan (NDP) of 2018-2021.’’
Dr. Touray said the NDP has outlined better health and improved health services for Gambians, as one of the strategic priorities that needs urgent action. “Health is unquestionable”, she said.
She noted that the health and wellbeing of Gambians cannot be accomplished with the health Minister working in isolation. By endorsing the compact, Dr. Touray said Government is testifying to the importance it places on improving the wellbeing and welfare of all Gambians. She said no single institution can address the challenges in the health sector. She underscored that healthy populations are critical for sustainable development towards ending poverty, promoting peaceful and inclusive societies and protecting the environment. She applauded the WHO, UN system, and development partners in supporting directly or indirectly the health sector.
Dr. Ahmad Lamin Samateh the new Minister of Health, said the importance of the event marks a turning point in the health care delivery system of the country.
He highlighted the principles of the International Health Partnership and allied initiatives that the IHP+ Global Compact is built on, such as the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the 2008 Accra Agenda for Action amongst others.
“It would be important to note that the document being presented here today, passed through all the formal stages of preparation and has secured Cabinet’s Approval,” he disclosed.
Dr. Samateh said the Ministry of Health is making all efforts to fulfill the IHP and Monitoring Framework; that it is for this reason the Ministry is working hard to ensure the implementation of the national health financing policy.
Other speakers include Dr. Desta Tiruneh, the country representative of the World Health Organization (WHO).