#National News

Gambia’s health ministry denies link with seized suspected medical products

May 17, 2021, 12:32 PM

The Gambia’s Ministry of Health has denied any link to a seized refrigerated truck with suspected medical products by Senegalese Custom Border Officers at Kerr Ayub.

According to the country’s health ministry, the truck was only transiting through The Gambia from the Southern Province of Cassamance.

Below we reproduce the full text of the press release issued by the ministry for the benefit of our readers and it reads:

The Ministry of Health and partners are following with keen interest, developments surrounding the reported seizure of suspected medicinal products by the Senegalese Custom Border Officers at Kerr Ayub of a Senegalese refrigerated truck with registration number TH 6650 D carrying a cargo of fish and what is believed to be an assortment of medicines. The medicinal products were transported from Southern Senegal (Cassamance) across The Gambia to Northern Senegal.

Contrary to the social media reports and press statements by some individuals, the refrigerated truck on which the said medical drugs were found was only transiting through The Gambia from the Southern Province of Cassamance.

Under the ECOWAS protocols, The Gambia is bound by the sub-regional treaty to enhance movement of transiting vehicles through its borders unhindered. It is therefore totally disingenuous to even remotely link The Gambia with the seizure of a Senegalese registered vehicle which loaded its goods from Southern Senegal. 

The general public is hereby notified that the Ministry of Health has requested through the normal diplomatic channels, more information from the relevant Senegalese authorities on the seized medical drugs, their type and quantity.

As part of its due diligence, the Medicines Control Agency under the Ministry of Health ensures that a detail record and inventory of medicinal products imported into the country are kept and maintained in a government database.

For avoidance of doubts, the Ministry of Health wishes to inform the general public that there are appropriate regulatory requirements in place for importation and distribution of medicinal products in The Gambia.  These regulatory requirements are enforced and implemented by the Medicines Control Agency which is mandated to ensure compliance to the Law.

It is illegal and against the Medicines and Related Products Act 2014, for any unlicensed entity to be engaged in importing medicinal products either through overt and covert means. Any individual or entity found to be engaged in such activities will face the full force of the law.