13 November 2012

Gambia: Minister Badjie Tours Health Facilities

The minister of Health and Social Welfare accompanied by the Senior Management Team (SMT) of her Ministry last Friday embarked on a five-day nationwide tour of health facilities across the country.

Minister Fatim Badjie and her delegation visited hospitals and private health facilities across the country and held meetings with the Regional Health Management Teams, officers-in-charge of the various health facilities, and the management of the School of State Enrolled Nurses and Midwifery in Bansang, and communities. The tour availed the health minister and her team the opportunity to deliver beds and other medical equipment to some of the health facilities.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily Observer shortly after the tour, Minister Badjie said that the tour is part of her responsibility adding that it enabled her to get her first-hand information about the status of health facilities in the country. She said apart from her visit, the SMT also regularly visits the health facilities to address their concerns. She acknowledged that massive improvements have been registered by the SMT during their last visit to the health facilities.

Minister Badjie also revealed that in most of the places visited - from Banjul to Koina, statistics reported indicated a drastic reduction in maternal deaths. She urged the communities to report birth and death cases in their communities and also register them in their health facilities. This, she said, will help the Ministry to know the birth and death rates in the country. She further revealed that West Coast Region has now been divided into two health regions (One and Two).She explained that West Coast One covers Banjul, KM, and Kombo North; whilst West Coast Two covers from Brikama to Kalaji.

The Health minster noted that malaria cases increased during the rainy season, and urged communities to take preventive measures in combating malaria. She also called on health personnel to be steadfast in their work in order to drastically reduce the rate of malaria, stressing that the country has a good record in the fight against malaria, hence it has declined.

Commenting on the newly built minor health facility in Dongoroba village in the Lower River Region after a brief stop, Minister Badjie thanked Alhaji Lamin Dem, a native of Dongoroba, for complementing government's efforts in the health sector. She noted that Mr Dem, apart from constructing the health facility, has also sunk a borehole for the community, as well as providing a solar device for the Bureng Health Centre. She described the initiative as a great boost to the health sector and urged others to emulate him.

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