By Amadou Jadama
A director at the National Audit Office has expressed concern over the National Assembly’s failure to discuss the seven reports his unit sent to the legislature from 2016 to date.
Baba S Drammeh made this remark yesterday at the NAO head office in Kanifing during the press briefing on the continental award it won for its audit report on emergency obstetric care in public health facilities, Ministry of Health.
Mr Drammeh said his Performance Audit Unit was established in 2014 and developed into a unit in January 2019.
He said the unit started with five members which was over the period increased to seven, nine and to 13 in November 2020 and 16 members three weeks ago.
Since the establishment of the function, he said seven reports were completed and sent to National Assembly. They are: Solid Waste Management by the Banjul City Council, from December 2015 to February 2016; HIV AIDS Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support in The Gambia from January 2016 to February 2016; Distribution of Electricity by NAWEC Within the Greater Banjul Area from March 2017 to April 2017; Management of the Community Fisheries Centres from April 2018 to August 2018; Drug Storage and Distribution by the Central Medical Store from June 2018 to August 2018; Monitoring of Education Systems by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education from December 2019 to February 2020; Emergency Obstetric Care (EmOC) in Public Health Facilities from November 2020 to December 2020; and Cargo Handing by the Gambia Ports Authority.
“It would be important for me to mention that, unfortunately, all these reports have not yet been discussed by National Assembly. The discussions would have helped publish the report, put pressure on the relevant officers to implement the recommendations and eventually translate into better service delivery to improve the life of the citizens of The Gambia,” Director Drammeh admonished.
On the award-winning report, he revealed that maternal health in The Gambia is one of the key components of equitable provision of quality health care to the citizenry which has attracted both national and international attention.
In light of such, he said government put in place the Reproductive, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) Policy 2017-2026 that would target all service delivery points of emergency obstetric care (EmOC) to ensure that they are fully equipped.
According to Mr Drammeh, EmOC comprises all the set of interventions that are used to treat complications that arise during pregnancy, childbirth and short after birth and as a result, the audit was motivated by a number of factors.
He pointed out that to get comprehensive, relevant and reliable information on emergency obstetric care in The Gambia, interviews were conducted, sites visited and physical verification were made producing the key findings.