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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Report raises concerns on health facilities, madrassas

The report was tabled last week at the National Assembly by Samba Bah, the vice chair of the select committee. It highlighted the unreliable supply of drugs from the Central Medical Store as a major concern and the poor living conditions in madrassas. 

The select committee recommended that records of staff attendance and movement, personnel files, drugs supplies, fuel consumption and other records should be properly kept. It further called on the Central Medical Stores to ensure reliable supply of drugs to health facilities and recommend portioning of general wards where both male and female patients are admitted to provide some form of privacy. 

The findings call on the ministry of health to conduct an assessment of the mobility and staffing needs of the facilities as well as develope a posting policy to make the process more efficient and provide incentives for staff in difficult and hard-to-reach areas.

They recommend that Tanka Tanka Psychiatric Hospital be made autonomous under its own management. The select committee also ordered education and health ministries to conduct a tour to look into the living conditions of pupils in madrassa boarding schools.

The report stated: “As highlighted in the individual reports of the facilities, some of the finding were general and cross-cutting while others were unique to some facilities. It is our humble opinion however, that disparity of services delivery was premised on three factors, which are intrinsically linked; availability of resources – human, material and finance; qualification, experience and competence of staff and the level of commitment of staff.

“It is heartening to note that while some managers depend entirely on government funding, others developed excellent partnerships that provide extra resources for more positive, meaningful and efficient service delivery.”

Mr Bah said the select committee toured 32 randomly selected health facilities of different categories including madrassas, social welfare admission facilities (shelter for children and home for elderly) and a pharmaceutical company.

He said the objective of the visits was to obtain firsthand information and consequently make recommendations for an improved health service delivery adding that the findings were “very positive with numerous achievements registered but sometimes very revealing”.

“Members observed challenges ranging from deterioration of physical infrastructures, shortages of appropriately trained staff, mobility constraints among others,” he said while laying the report for adoption.


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