The National Audit Office has been awarded ‘best performance audit prize’ by the by African Organisation of Supreme Audit (AFROSAI-E) on Monday for its “impressive audit” into emergency obstetric care in The Gambia.
In the past two years, there has been a rising concern among the citizenry about maternal mortality in The Gambia, prompting the NAO to probe emergency obstetric care in public health facilities under Ministry of Health in 2020. The audit covered the period from January 2017 to December 2019.
“We noted that some key medical tools or certain important maternal and neonatal assessment equipment were not adequately available in some of the facilities visited. These include suctioning machines, oxygen cylinders and Dopplers,” said the report published on NAO website.
“Furthermore, 58% of the facilities go for outreach programmes without portable haemoglobin metre at the trekking stations for testing HB. It should be noted that these are crucial to saving a person’s life or performing any procedure, detect and diagnose the problem or disease at a very early stage that aids the health facilities to provide prompt care and treatment.”
The competition received 107 reports from 18 countries in English-speaking Africa. The reports submitted for the prize, according to AFROSAI-E, covers a wide range of issues including public health, environment, e-governance, technology, among others.
“The aim of the prize is to benchmark good practices in performance audit and to highlight efforts made by performance auditors around the region (Africa) by providing parliaments and other stakeholders with quality performance audit reports…” said AFROSAI-E.
“The audit illustrates serious problems in the emergency obstetric care with far-reaching consequences. There is a consistent aspiration to analyse causes of the identified problems. In this way, the audit report has what it takes to help the government to reduce obstetric complications, maternal deaths and eventually healthcare cost….”
Meanwhile, the Auditor General Karamba Touray has expressed his delight that their “efforts in helping the government “judiciously utilise scarce resources are recognised”.
AFROSAI-E, established in 2005, is a member-based institution with 26 auditors-general from English-speaking African countries making up its governing board. It is the English language subgroup of AFROSAI, the African branch of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions