#Article (Archive)

Welcome to the hot seat!

Feb 14, 2011, 11:47 AM

We welcome Ms Fatim Badjie as the newly-appointed Minister of Health and Social Welfare a seat seen by many as very hot. What makes the seat hot, perhaps, is the importance of the ministry.

The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is, no doubt, one of the key sectors that the Gambia government has set as a priority.

While we warmly welcome you to the cabinet cycle once more, we urge you to work hard for the realization of the country's health development aspirations.

The health of the citizenry should be your primary target, and always be prepared to go the extra mile to live up to the expectations of the people.

While we are fully cognizant of the fact that the challenges that lie ahead are not easy, we know that with the right support, you will achieve your vision for the health sector.

We have no doubt in your competence and ability to handle this important sector; however, we urge you not to take things for granted.

Health is a cross-cutting issue and so its development should be everybody's business and should not only be shouldered by the Ministry alone.

We urged the Regional Health Management Teams (RHTs) and the Program Managers within the Ministry to support the new Minister to achieve her targets for the country's  health sector, and also to meet the targets of the relevant MDGs.

This can only be achieved through team work and proper coordination of programs and activities.

We also call on the Minister to be a good listener; this would greatly help her a lot to know what direction to take in terms of decision-making.

One of the first tasks of the Minister should be to conduct a nationwide tour to visit all Major and Minor health facilities in the country; this would enable her to have first hand information about the Ministry.

The technical experts within the Ministry should properly guide her in some of the critical areas that are key to the development of the sector, that need her urgent attention to address.

We strongly believe that with your cabinet experience you will be able to move the health sector to the expectations of the President.

It is our view that development of the health sector should be every body's priority, not only the government, but also the NGOs, as well as individuals who should also contribute their quota towards the development of the health sector.

As the saying goes a healthy nation is a wealthy nation.

Finally, we would like to congratulate you for the new position, and wish you all the best.