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Sunday, October 1, 2023

WB US$8.6 million project to aid country’s health needs


Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Standard, he stated: “This is a World Bank sponsored project jointly implemented by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the National Nutrition Agency. The project was initiated sometime last year to the tune of 8.6 million dollars when we had contact from the World Bank geared towards improving the quality of the country’s health care needs.  The Results Based Financing (RBF) Project was identified to be implemented but because it was new to the country, we suggested conducting a pilot project. This project is a form of cash payment or non-monetary transfer made to a national or sub-national government, manager, provider, payer or consumer of health services after predefined results have been attained and verified. The North Bank Region was chosen to see whether it can be contextualised in the country and three health facilities and ten communities were selected. This was also supported by the World Bank to the tune of 850,000 dollars. The results showed us that we can implement RBF in The Gambia and given its success we were able to convince the World Bank to provide funding for the main project. This was approved on May 20 2014. We are moving closer towards the deadline of the Millennium Development Goals and we want to make sure that we implement the RBF to fully address issues relating to MDG 1c, 4 and 5. This project will surely be focused on maternal and child nutrition and health.”

Mr. Fofana who is a member of the project implementation committee said the first phase of the project will be implemented in three regions in the country because of the poor state of various health indicators in these regions. 

 “This is a five-year project starting in May of this year and going to end in December 2019. The first phase will be in 13 health facilities in the Central River Region, Upper River Region and the North Bank Region. The aim of the RBF is to facilitate the acquisition of nutrition and primary maternal health care services in the country. Most of the indicators relating to MDG 1c, 4 and 5 are either stagnant or deteriorating and it is only few that are improving. During the pilot project we realised that few women registered during the early stages of their pregnancy. We want these women to register in the first three months of their pregnancy and with this project that has increased tremendously. There has also been an increase in the number of skilled people who take care of deliveries at health facilities and hospitals. This has implications because if you do not have the skills, there can be complications which may lead to maternal deaths. So the quality of services has improved in many health facilities in the country as a result of this project.”


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