By Maimuna Sey-Jawo
Dr. Isatou Touray, the newly appointed minister of Health and Social Welfare on Tuesday visited the Central Medical Store in Kotu.
The visit was meant among other things to enable the minister and her team get firsthand information as to what is available at the medical storage and also some of the challenges they are encountering with a view to mapping out a way forward.
Speaking to journalists shortly after her visit, Dr. Touray spoke at length on the significance of her visit to the medical storage. The visit, she added, will go a long way in equipping her with the necessary information as to some of the issues happening at the central medical storage in order to enable them intervene to help the health sector improve.
“We must ensure that we deliver what we have in our National Development Plan guided by the policy framework. We will continue to work with national and international institutions with a view to improving our health sector.”
The ministry, she went on, has inherited lot of challenges, adding that it was as a result of malpractice, lack of respect for technical competence and also directives that were given and were not in line with the medical and professional procedures of the country.
Dr. Touray challenged health officials to be more proactive and double their efforts towards achieving quality health services delivery. “The ministry will do everything possible in ensuring that Gambians enjoy quality health service delivery.”
Minister Touray added that her ministry will continue to work with relevant stakeholders in order to have a comprehensive development plan with a view to expanding the Central Medical Storage in making sure that the supply of drug is sufficient.
“We have inherited a very difficult situation and there are a lot of rumors and lot of misconceptions about the health care system. “We will work with the relevant stakeholders within the ministry and get firsthand information in order to improve our health care.”
Babanding Sabally, Director of National Pharmaceutical Service dwelled on the importance of the minister’s visit. Transportation, he added, is one of the issues affecting the medical storage particularly during distribution of drug in various hospitals and health centers. “We want the medical storage to be expanded so that it will enable us keep the drugs safe.”