Speaking at the presentation ceremony held at the central health store in Kotu, health Minister Omar Sey said: “We are aware of the immense contributions the Global Fund is making not only in the response against HIV but also in combating malaria and TB as well as other diseases.”
It is clear that health is the business of all and no one government or institution could do it alone, he said, adding that supporting the sector has become more essential with the emergence of new issues and rising cost of health care.
“Despite all these challenges, together we have been able to achieve a lot of successes in the promotion of the health of the citizenry,” he stated.
Minister Sey further said the donation of the physiotherapy equipment and teaching and learning aids could not have come at a better time.
“It is happening at a time when the attention of the Government of The Gambia under President Yahya Jammeh’s leadership is being focused on improving the quality of teaching and learning in schools and making access to the best possible health services a reality no matter where you live in this country,” he said.
“We note with appreciation the giant strides the NAS and by extension, HSS component of GF round 8 have taken in strengthening the health system through various measures,” the Minister added.
These, according to him, include but not limited to training of the much needed health care personnel on long and short term basis, the maintenance of transport assets as well as maintenance and provision of fuel for stand-by generators in health facilities.
Furthermore, he continued, the HSS component supported the health management information system unit to conduct quarterly monitoring and supervisory visits across the country.
For his part, Alpha Khan, deputy director of NAS, said through the HSS component of the GF, R8 saw the need to address some of the shortcomings of the health system.
He said 575 healthcare workers from different cadres and disciplines have benefited from the training ranging from one and half years to three years.
He added that the courses pursued range from certificate to master’s degrees, and currently there are 174 healthcare workers undergoing training and would be completing their respective courses at various times this year and next.
This would help mitigate the increasing demand for health workers in the health system, Mr Khan said, adding that the component supported other short-term training to respond to emerging issues and prepare the service providers to respond adequately to demand for services.
He said 10 ambulances, 40 motorcycles and 10 stand-by generators of health facilities across the country had been offered regular maintenance and supplied with fuel and lubricants in tackling the transport and power-related challenges faced by the health system.
The NAS director revealed that the HSS grant has continued to support the health ministry in the conduct of integrated quarterly monitoring and supervisory visits countrywide for overall improvement in data management and reporting.