The president of the Republic has donated medical items worth millions of dalasis to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and the National Health Training Schools across the country.
The donated items were handed over to the beneficiary institutions on behalf of His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh by Dr Njogu Bah, the secretary general and head of the Civil Service last Friday morning during a brief presentation ceremony held at the State House grounds.
The biomedical equipment and the pharmaceuticals including Anti-Retroviral drugs and Opportunity Infection Drugs that are earmarked for the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare are valued at D68 million and D26 million respectively; whilst the reference books of high class rating intended for the National Health Training Schools are worth D1, 178, 490.
The permanent secretary, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Matty Bouye, and the principals of the four National Health Training Schools received the items, which were presented courtesy of the National Aids Secretariat (NAS) under the Office of the President and the Global Fund.
In his brief statement at the occasion, SG Bah said the items are intended to support the government in its health system strengthening as well as the work force production. He seized the opportunity to thank the Global Fund HIV Component for the collaboration with the government of The Gambia that made the procurement of these supplies possible. He also commended NAS for leading the effort in what he called an important partnership.
He concluded by urging the recipients to use the supplies judiciously to reach the intended beneficiaries, while expressing hope that the National Health Training Schools would find the books presented as very useful references. Receiving the items on behalf of the beneficiaries, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Matty Bouye, extended her ministry's gratitude and appreciation to President Jammeh for providing the conducive environment, and for the priority given to the health sector.
She also thanked NAS and the Global Fund for the donation, as well as the support they have been rendering to the health sector. PS Bouye described the move as being in-line with the quest to ensure an efficient health sector, while using the opportunity to stress that the items be utilised properly.
Also speaking at the occasion, Alieu Jammeh, the director of the NAS acknowledged the strong partnership between his institution and the Ministry of Health and the Social Welfare. Given the priority given to the health sector by the president of the Republic, Jammeh underscored their stance in complimenting the efforts of the government in making sure that the health quality improves in the country.
"For us at the NAS, we have been working closely with most of the [Health] schools and this is not the first time that we are rendering support to them. Of lately, NAS was able to procure lots of IT equipment to them because we knew that most of these schools are constraints with these items," Jammeh disclosed.
The secretary to Cabinet, Ebrima O Camara moderated the occasion.