UNICEF trains NA select committee on health on budget scrutiny

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

National Assembly select committee on health recently attended a two-day capacity strengthening training on budget scrutiny of the public health delivery system.

The training, which was held at Ocean Bay Hotel, aimed to help members to scrutinise the public budget, and was sponsored by UNICEF.

Delivering the opening statement, Shabnaaz Zahereen, said the committee of the National Assembly was key to UNICEF’s work in The Gambia not only as an oversight body for the wellbeing of Gambian children in the context of social service delivery but also as a key agent in the attainment of laws that are geared towards the protection of the Gambian children.

Ms Zahereen highlighted the statistics of the Gambian children to put into context the importance the work of the select committee as very relevant.

Government has over the years have done very well in promoting the agenda of children and women and delivering key social services despite the number of areas of maternal health but still has room for improvement.

She said 56% of children of The Gambia live in poverty with infant and maternal mortality rate at 34 and 433 by one hundred thousand respectively.

In consideration of its figures, UNICEF has intensified its nutrients and social protection including the implementation of breast project which aims at addressing some of the issues.

Omar Jobe, a consultant said health is a very important component in the development of infrastructure; hence they have to ensure that the health sector is allocated the resources that it needs to be able to have the best doctors who are well motivated.

Ousman Sillah, National Assembly member for Banjul North and also the Chairperson of the committee, said the two-day training on capacity strengthening and budget scrutiny on public health delivery system for the National Assembly select committee organized by the National Assembly in collaboration with UNICEF was very timely.

 “As a committee that has multiple roles, we need at all times to strengthen our capacity to be able to effectively perform our functions,” he noted. 

Author: Njie Baldeh