number of women who die during childbirth continues to be on the rise in The
Gambia, Karamba Keita said in a statement on behalf of the minister of health.
was speaking at the opening of West African young leaders’ forum on population
and development last Wednesday.
Keita said the ratio of maternal mortality remains a challenge for the health
service delivery in the country, saying as of 2015, Gambia had achieved the
millennium development goals for infant mortality rate, under-5 mortality rate,
proportion of population and using improved drinking water amongst others.
the maternal mortality ratio remains unacceptably high and therefore, continues
to be a major challenge for the health sector,” he said.
said the ministry of health, through its partnership with World Health
Organization (WHO), West African Health Organization (WAHO) and other
development partners have developed the ‘Gambia National Health Policy
2012-2020’ on the theme: HealthisWealth: Acceleration of quality health
services and Universal coverage.
ministry would remain committed to supporting the development of youth
particularly in investing in the health and development of young people.”
Keita said despite the remarkable achievements, the health sector is still
under great pressure due to a number of factors, saying high population growth
rate, increasing morbidity and mortality, insufficient financial support,
shortage of adequate and appropriately trained health personnel, inadequate
referral system as well as poverty and ignorance have led to inappropriate
health behaviors and therefore contributing to ill health in the country.
Medessi Yves Armand, programme officer for maternal and child health at West
Africa Health Organisation (WAHO)said 13% of maternal mortality among
adolescent girls is caused by early and unwanted pregnancies and clandestine
said the high occurrence of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, is
also a leading cause of death among young people and adolescents in the region.