May 20, 2008, 5:00 AM
The Gambia has been asked to sit on the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) with effect from 2014, in accordance with the UN body’s constitution and procedures of the World Health Assembly.
This was announced in a press release issued by the ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Banjul.
Consequently, The Gambia is expected to participate in the 135th session of the board immediately after the 67th session of the World Health Assembly, slated for 19 to 24 May 2014 at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
The WHO Executive Board is one of the governing bodies of the WHO, which is composed of 34 individuals technically qualified in the field of health, each one designated by a member state selected to do so by the World Health Assembly.
Member States are selected for three-year terms, and The Gambia will therefore serve on the board from 2014 to 2017.
The main functions of the Board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the World Health Assembly, to advise it and, generally, to facilitate its work.
In a related development, The Gambia has also been nominated to serve on the 18-member programme sub-committee, a subsidiary body of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa, for 2014.This committee, among other things, supports the preparatory work of the regional committee by reviewing the agenda, working documents, reports and draft resolutions; advises the WHO regional director on matters of due importance that require consideration by the regional committee; reviews and examines issues related to the WHO general programme of work, programme budget and regional health strategies, as well as monitors the implementation of regional committee resolutions.
The programme sub-committee is expected to meet at the WHO Regional Office in the Republic of Congo from 9 to 12 June 2014 to discuss the 64th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa scheduled to take place in Cotonou, Benin, from 1 to 5 September 2014.
“The Gambia’s nomination to serve on these governing bodies of the World Health Organization is not only a matter of procedure, but recognition of the country’s contributions to the promotion and strengthening of the regional and global health development agenda.
“On behalf of His Excellency, Sheikh, Professor, Dr Alhajji Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh and the Government of the Republic of The Gambia, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare wishes to express its sincere gratitude to the World Health Organization for all its support to the health sector.
‘‘By the same token, the Ministry of Health also recognizes the contributions of other development partners and stakeholders to the health sector,” stated the press release signed by the minister of Health, Dr. Omar Sey.