By Omar Bah
The National Assembly Member for Serekunda West has confirmed to The Standard yesterday that NAMs will soon write to the Speaker and request for an extraordinary session to discuss the deaths of 70 children due to Acute Kidney Injury.
According to the National Assembly Standing Orders, a minimum of 15 NAMs could write and request for the holding of an extraordinary session and the Speaker will be compelled to call the session within a week.
“The Speaker will soon receive the request and this demand will be signed by a substantial number of NAMs,” Madi Ceesay said.
He said the death of the 70 children is a matter of “grave concern” to all the members.
“There have been calls in both the majority and minority caucuses for a special meeting to be called immediately. This is a matter of lives lost and cannot be equated to any other matter. There is nothing that can be more urgent than the avoidable deaths of 70 children,” he said.
The opposition lawmaker said it is the responsibility of the National Assembly to find out how the poisonous drugs were imported and given to the people.
“We will ensure a thorough investigation by way of creating a special committee to investigate the matter and all the heads of the departments responsible for issues related to medicines coming into the country and the minister of health will be compelled to step aside and allow the investigations to go on smoothly without interference.
“This is not to say the minister or those officials are guilty. It is just to allow for free and fair inquiry into this important matter of national interest,” Ceesay said.
He added: “The most worrying thing for me is that we are only told of the numbers that are known to the health authorities but there are a lot of isolated cases that are not reported to the health authorities. More children have died compared to what is reported because I have a clear source from the Red Cross team collecting these medications that they have collected more in the URR than in the Greater Banjul Area. So, if that is the case, and there is no data indicating how many children died there, I can tell you whatever figure the government is giving out we have more than that,” he stated.