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Minister denies mismanagement of Covid-19 funds at ministry

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By Omar Bah

Health Minister Lamin Samateh has denied before the national assembly that any Covid-19 funds were mismanaged at his ministry.

Responding to a question from the Member for Latrikunda on audit queries about the management of Covid-19 funds, Minister Samateh said: “As far as I know there is no mismanagement or embezzlement of Covid-19 funds in my ministry. We have given a fitting response with proven documents to the queries of the Auditor General. It would have been good if the Member points out the areas where the Auditor General said there was mismanagement or embezzlement because what I remember were statements like ‘potential for fraud or loss of income.”

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New hospitals

According to the minister, government will construct modern hospitals in Basse and Brikama.

“All the assessments have been done with the World Bank and we are just waiting for funding. We are also working with GAVI to build and renovate 11 health posts across the country”, the minister said.

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He disclosed that funding is already available for some health centers but those that need major renovations will need more funding.

“We also had preliminary engagement with the SSHFC for them to pre-finance some of the projects and we reimburse them later,” the minister said.

Challenges

Minister Samateh said the health sector is expensive and his ministry needs the required funding to be able to perform to expectations.

“We need more funding from the government through the National Assembly to be able to better our performance,” he said.

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