The agreement which was signed on 11 February 2014 in Ankara by the Minister of Health and Social Welfare of The Gambia and his Turkish counterpart was part of a drive to boost the country’s health care system.
Passing a motion before lawmakers for the ratification of the agreement, Bala Garba Jahumpa, the new Foreign minister said: “During the official visit to Turkey by the president in February 2014, a decision was reached to convene the first joint economic commission meeting between The Gambia and Turkey. This covers broad areas of cooperation in all sectors of our economy including health. The ministers also highlighted the longstanding friendly relations between the two countries and expressed confidence that the first joint economic commission meeting would serve as a strong basis to elevate our relations to a higher level. The Turkish government, through this agreement, has expressed its readiness to support the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in the fight against communicable diseases especially for the Ebola virus disease. It will also provide patient beds, medical consumables and other medical devices for the isolation room at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital and Soma regional health centre. This has been financed by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency to the tune of US$50,000. The ratification of this agreement shall provide support to The Gambia in strengthening our health care system. It will also lead to training of our health personnel, cooperation in the field of communicable diseases, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. This will further lead to the sharing of experience and developing joint projects on decreasing maternal and child mortalities.”
Fatou Mbye, deputy speaker of the National Assembly in seconding the motion said the agreement was straightforward, non-controversial and beneficial to the two countries. She stated that health is a priority sector of government and the leadership has registered great strides in the area.
Sainey Mbye, representative of Upper Saloum said: “The relationship between The Gambia and Turkey is very cordial. Over the years, we have seen the huge support that Turkey has given The Gambia thanks to our leadership. By going through this agreement, various areas of cooperation would be beneficial to the two countries both in the short and long terms.”]]>