Apr 30, 2012, 3:13 PM
As part of its efforts in strengthening capacity to utilize research evidence in policy making in The Gambia, CIAM, a Public Health Research and Development Centre on Monday presented IT equipment to the National Assembly of The Gambia.
The donated items include 15 desktop computers, 53 USB of eight gigabits, 7 digital cameras, a scanner, printer and free internet services for two years.
Speaking at the handing-over ceremony, Cherno Jallow, Vice-chairman of CIAM board of trustees, described the relationship between CIAM and the National Assembly of The Gambia, which started in 2004, as a milestone achievement.
“At the end of the first phase of the advocacy project that CIAM had with the National Assembly, a meeting was convened to discuss the way forward in sustaining the working relationship which is already established,” Mr Jallow told parliamentarians.
According to him, the project will among others strengthen the capacity of the parliament to use available research evidence in health related public policy formulation and implementation and also strengthen advocacy by civil society for increased use of evidence in health related policy formulation and implementation.
He noted that the project will also establish a technical advisory committee of highly respected and senior health officials in different areas to serve as a think-tank to whom honourable members and journalists can refer to for interpretation and advice, if faced with technical health matters in the execution of their duties.
“This will be backed by a well structured training programme based on the needs identified by the honourable members in the area of understanding health concepts and terminologies, which are many at times and too technical for a non-health person to easily understand,” Mr Jallow said.
He revealed that training to improve in IT skills is also part of their package which will also be provided for health journalists, adding that these efforts and other interventions led by government and other partners will strengthen the capacity of NAMs to address health matters both in the house and in their respective constituencies in a more effective and efficient manner.
Speaking earlier, Dodou C.M. Kebbeh, Clerk of the National Assembly, described CIAM as a key partner to the development of The Gambia, particularly in the health sector. “Our relationship with CIAM dates back to almost a decade ago shortly before the coming into office of this current parliament, which is almost five years old,” he said.
Kebbeh commended CIAM for their assistance to the National Assembly, promising that the items presented will contribute to starting operation as soon as possible.
The National Assembly really values CIAM’s contribution towards the development of the country, he said.
The chairman of the National Assembly Select Committee on Health and Member for Kombo North, Hon. Adama Cham, delivered the vote of thanks.