These supplies and equipment, procured through the project dubbed - Strengthening The Gambia's Health System for Effective Covid-19 Pandemic Response', were funded by the government of The People's Republic of China.
The items are expected to improve delivery of sexual and reproductive health services including safe birth and healthy pregnancy for all women in the country. The items donated include delivery beds, patient stretchers with side rails, ultrasound digital scanner, surgical items and anesthesia machine, among others.
Welcoming the gathering, Babanding Sabally, director of Pharmaceutical Services at the Ministry, expressed appreciation to the UNFPA country team for the move, acknowledging that the UN agency is one of the country's leading partners in strengthening reproductive health services.
"UNFPA contributed immensely towards the development of the country's health sector and for which we thank them immensely."
Presenting the items, Ndey Rose Sarr, country representative of the UNFPA, acknowledged that the ChinaAid supported project seeks to strengthen quality health service delivery to inform a reduction in maternal, new born, infant, child and adolescent morbidity and mortality in the country.
"It is also aimed at mitigating some of the potential adverse effects of Covid-19 on the health sector and by extension the health and well-being of the population. As such it will contribute towards ensuring the continuity of essential health services for all people across the country amid the pandemic and beyond."
UNFPA country rep reminded that the world has been grappling with Covid-19 and its attendant impact on development systems and economies all over the world and The Gambia is not an exception.
The pandemic, added also brought with it the need for urgent interventions to limit the spread of the virus, while mitigating the negative implications on lives and livelihoods.
"In The Gambia, just as in many countries, we witnessed a shift in attention and intervention towards limiting the spread of the virus and delivering emergency healthcare services to those affected. This unfortunately, saw disruption in the delivery of essential sexual reproductive health services leaving a part of the population unattended to"
Receiving the items, Dr Ahmad Lamin Samateh, minister for Health, expressed appreciation to the donors through UNFPA for supporting and strengthening the country's health sector.
"We stand in front of you filled with joy in the sense the aims and aspirations of the government of The Gambia in strengthening the heath sector and in ensuring that the people of The Gambia get the best health care service, are gradually being fulfilled."
He informed that the new government came into office with an assessment to develop the country's service delivery.
Dr. Samateh acknowledged that improvements have been made, but there still exist some structural gaps.
He revealed that the government in its quest to deliver quality health care services to the nation, has increased health facilities.
Minister Samateh spoke at length on some achievements registered in the sector, which he said, is all geared towards ensuring access to the health care services in the country.