Dec 6, 2013, 10:52 AM
The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Matty Bouy, recently opened the Primary Health Care working party meeting at the National Nutrition Agency conference hall.
Mrs Bouy lauded the idea of bringing together all stakeholders in primary health care, especially the Ministry of Health to discuss issues pertaining to the effective and efficient delivery of health care to the people of this country, especially those in communities which have difficulty in accessing services.
She stated that with the Alma Mata Declaration on primary health care in 1979, The Gambia rose to the occasion to reform its health sector, based on the PHC approach with noteworthy success. Some notable successes, she added, include the introduction of health programmes within the organizational structure of the Ministry of Health, high immunization rate for all antigens registered in the country since the establishment of the EPI programme and improved geographical access to health services.
She said, despite the successes registered, a high disease burden continues to persist with new and emerging diseases, whilst the high maternal mortality remains the greatest challenge.
Permanent Secretary Bouy noted that the PHC working party meeting would avail stakeholders the opportunity to have a vibrant forum, where health service delivery at the primary level can be reviewed. She also used the occasion to thank UNICEF and the WHO for their support towards the health sector.
Speaking earlier at the meeting, the UNICEF deputy Representative and officer in – charge Meritxel Relano said UNICEF acknowledges the efforts of the government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in the provision of infrastructure, and the implementation of various health programmes, including primary health care to reduce the burden of illness and death from Malaria, acute respiratory tract infections, HIV and AIDS, other infant and childhood diseases, as well as women’s reproductive health.
The speakers at the occasion included the WHO country representative Dr Thomas Sukwa.