The health and wealth of a nation are fundamentally linked. There is this widely believe notion that healthier populations live longer, more productive lives, leading to greater economic prosperity.
In recent years, The Gambia’s health sector is witnessing rapid transformation, as opposed to a 90s when there were only three referral hospitals.
The scenario has changed for the better now as there are tremendous achievements registered in both the public and private sectors.
The introduction of the Health Systems Assessment (HAS) in the health sector has helped shape the country’s health to be at par with international norm and practice. This new mechanism helps to analyse the country’s performance according to set of internationally recognised indicators.
Therefore, the recent validation forum on Health Systems Assessment (HAS) is not only timely but important, owing to the fact that the objective of the validation was to assess the functionality of the health system in terms of how well the Ministry of Health can respond to the challenge of health in the twenty-first century in terms of the drive to push towards universal health coverage.
The HSA initiative, according to officials, assessed how the health system is performing as a whole and identified obstacles and opportunities that cut across multiple health system components.
This assessment would no doubt help in policy action that will help policymakers to select interventions that will respond to different health problems and decide on the allocation of resources considering different priorities and demands with short, medium and long-term perspectives.
We there urge participants to do justice to the forum by making positive recommendations that will help boost the country’s health sector.
Remember that advancing human health is key and dear to another government. It is an undisputable fact that weak national health system can be viewed as an important contributor to poverty and inequity in Africa.
Therefore, health system can directly address inequities not only by improving equitable access to care, but also in the promotion of inter-sectoral action to improve health status.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”