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The summary of country progress report on reduction of maternal and Neonatal in West and West and Central Africa

Apr 7, 2008, 10:47 AM | Article By: By Sarata Jabbi-Dibba

As part of the activities marking the sixth annual meeting of the regional follow up and action committee of the Vision 2010 initiative of first ladies on reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality in west and central Africa many country reports were presented during the meeting.

We reproduce below The Gambia's report from January to December 2007.


First and foremost, we wholeheartedly congratulate Her Excellency the First Lady Madam Jammeh on the recent birth of the first baby boy - Muhammed Jammeh into the First Family of the Second Republic of The Gambia.

During the reporting period i.e. January - December 2007, H.E Madam Zeinab Jammeh continued her advocacy for Maternal New-born and Child.

Health issues and in particular for:

*the reduction of morbidity and mortality among new-born babies, through the provision of incubators to the premature and Paediatric Wards of the ReferralHospital;

* the reduction of under-fives morbidity and mortality as a result of anaemia due to malaria, through her call for operation give blond andsave lives project in which she is a blood donor.

* fund raising activities to support these projects including sponsorship of five new-born babies born around the country as we usher into eachnew year

1. The sponsorship to the 5 new-born babies include gifts such as clothing for mother and baby(s) and other basic necessities plus substantial cash in the form of individual bank accounts to support the babies growing up right through to basic and secondary education.

December 2007

Occasionally, sponsorship for overseas medical treatment not available locally, for children from poor parental background with like threatening medical conditions requiring substantial funding. Quill: recently, a 7 year old girl benefited from her motherly support and receive major surgery overseas for an unsightly huge eye tumour.

Support is also provided to the Jammeh Foundation for Peace Hospital (JFPH) by way of essential drugs to the Women's Ward of the Hospital.

She also gives moral support to her husband's "breakthrough" in traditional treatment for chronic medical conditions such as:

HIV / AIDS, diabetes, hypertension, asthma, and infertility treatment for women.

As mentioned in Her Excellency's speech in year 2005 in Bamako, Mali. Her husband, President Dr. Yahya Jammeh, procured two (2) aircraft for aerial spraying for agricultural and health purposes such as malaria larvicidal spraying. In addition, taxes and tariffs on bednets and insecticides were waived by Government.

This time round, in a bid to further consolidate these gains in ensuring a clean environment for healthy living, His Excellency's "Operation Clean the Nation" has now institutionalized environmental sanitation at all levels country-wide with resultant reduction in the mosquito population and in the long-term, eradicate malaria.

Furthermore, in supporting activities of maternal, new-born and child health, His Excellency Dr. Yahya Jammeh has declared a free of charge maternal and child health services in all Public Health Facilities for Gambian Women.

His priority for the Health Sector will be encouraged and in particular, to provide additional funding support to the National RCH Committee and the RCH Programme Unit for the expansion of the strategy for the provision of Emergency Maternal, New-born & Child Health (EMCH) care at all levels among others towards the attainment of the Vision 2010 objectives.


Planned Activities Undertaken Since January - December 2007


. *Training of Trainers series for selected Nurses/Midwives and Doctors on

* EMCH/EMNH/GIC conducted in collaboration with CAI and ALSG UK.

* Train health care providers nation wide on focused antenatal care including maternal nutrition

* Training of nurses on Maternal nutrition using the life cycle approach

* Training of health care providers on Reproductive Health Commodity Security (RHCS) management including family planning

*Trained 60 service providers on PPTCT

Source: PTCT Training Reports 2007

. Trained 20 trainers on PPTCT

0 Number of PPTCT Centres:

VCT PTCT ART NGO/Private Sector providing community based care

2006 2007 18 26 12 '1') 6 8 7 8

. Community Based Care (NGO/Private Sector providing community based care for HIV / AIDS patients)

4.2 Community)' Level

. Advocacy meetings conducted with district authorities in the six Health Regions on Reproductive & Child Health (RCH) issues

Sensitization of the male folk on RCH issues and RCH clinic attendance covering 48 villages in the six Health Regions (e.g. on prevention of STIs/HIV: nutrition: partner management; timely evacuation on emergencies: blood donation etc during pregnancy. Childbirth and the postpartum period) .

. Training of 75 service providers nation wide on community IMNCI

. Pre-service training of replacement TBAs and refresher training for 82 1'B1\s conducted under the EMNCH Pilot Project

. Expansion of the BFCI in 10 communities thus making a total or 283 BIT I communities nation wide

. Sensitization of women group leaders on nutrition and Optimal Infant and Young Child Feeding (CBFI)

. Supported salt iodisation process in 3 other communities making a total of 5 communities

. A mobile team of personnel visits all salt selling centres nation-wide to iodize/c salts at no cost to the business community free of charge

4.3 Service Delivery

. Provision of basic RCH equipment's and records as well as supportive monitoring visits for quality service delivery

. DoSH and Stakeholders finalised a 5-year Reproductive Health Commodity Security plan document and distributed to all partners. Implementation or activities commenced.

A "Flying Squad" instituted in one of the Major Health Centres as part of the EMCH Project and collects maternal, new-born and child emergencies from the community to the health facility for care on a 24-hour call duty.

. Two additional outreach stations have been opened in the community for PPTCT services bringing the number to 19.

. Implementation of the integrated anaemia project in Upper River Region co-ordinated by the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) in collaboration with DoSH is on-going.

. National dissemination meeting on the tidings on the Obstetric Fistulae Survey Report conducted with financial support from UNFPA and Technical Support from the WHO. A Project proposal for implementation has been prepared through Technical Assistance from AFRO and validated by Stakeholders.


. Community Baseline Survey on New-born by IMNCI with Technical and financial support from UNICEF. .

Evaluation of the RH Policy, Strategic Plan of Action and RCH Services is in progress by DoSH and Stakeholders.

. Evaluation of the Emergency Maternal. New-born and Child Health (EMCII) Project. Report awaited.

. Conduct of a Countrywide Evaluation of the RHCS Strategy in collaboration with A W ARE-RH as part of a Sub-Regional exercise. Report awaited.

. Conduct of a nation-wide antenatal coverage survey and MIP in collaboration with the Centre for the Innovation Against Malaria (ClAM). Report awaited.


Notably, advocacy meetings with district authorities as well as sensitization meetings with the male folk at community level on Reproductive & Child

. Health issues, in particular, Maternal & New-born tragedies for their active participation for the health of their families as recommended in the baseline

study on male participation.

. The EMCH Strategy with strong emphasis on partnership at all levels for co-ordinated and concerted action and results (on evaluation presently).

. Two presentations prepared on Best Practices on Maternal & New-born Mortality by 2 NGOs Stakeholders for presentation to this forum.



PERIOD (Areas in which Advocacy May Play Major Role)

. In cognisance of the inseparable dyad between the new-born, the child and the mother under normal conditions for their survival, The First Lady will

advocate at the highest political level and mobilize resources for the expansion of the EMNCH Strategy as well as the IMNCI Strategy. This will

Improve access to, her operation "Save a Baby" to operation "'Save a Mother & Baby" and quality services with a view to accelerating the reduction of, and

Attaining the goals of Vision 2010 and MDGs 4 + 5 respectively.

. To this end, the first Lady's support for the expansion of the EMNCH Strategy as well as the IMNCI Strategy is paramount.

. The continued advocacy at relevant International Meetings of the AU. UN. the OIC, among others, to concretize and institutionalize the "'Africa Day" on:

Maternal & Neonatal Mortality & Morbidity Reduction globally.

. Given the fact that adequate and appropriate staffing of health facilities saves lives. advocacy at all levels for collective responsibility and sustained support

is key to the attainment of the set objectives of the Vision 20 I O.

. Advocacy will also play a key role for the mobilization of funds to enable The Gambia conduct its first ever Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) to ease measuring and reporting of the Vision 2010 Indicators and other health and socio-economic indices inter alia.
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From International Declarations to National policies and Action Plans but usually with inadequate funding and fragmented approach to service delivery.

Therefore, the prospect towards count down 2010 would be the urgent planning and implementation of the "3-0nes" concept of having: One national

plan of' action; one co-ordinating mechanism and one monitoring and evaluation plan. Hence, the need for pooling of meagre resources for

concerted action cannot be over-emphasized

Continued advocacy on the tragedy of maternal & new-born mortality and morbidity for awareness raising at all levels, and ultimate commitment of

funding for the timely implementation of activities including the observe of "Africa Day" on Maternal & New-born Mortality & Morbidity Reduction

Increase of the Health Budget by Government and subsequently to reprioritize maternal & new-born mortality and morbidity interventions for consistent and sustained gains.