The Government of The Gambia yesterday handed over 17 new vehicles and 66 motorbikes to the Ministry of Health in a ceremony held at the Riders for Health office in Kanifing.
Handed over by the Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, Dodou Bammy Jagne, the presentation was part of activities marking the 22nd anniversary of the July 22nd Revolution.
Jagne, also the Minister responsible for Presidential Affairs, said the new vehicles would reduce the burden of transportation within the health sector. He affirmed that Government will continue its efforts in promoting healthcare delivery.
The Health Minister, Omar Sey, said the partnership between RFH and his Ministry has been growing stronger since 2002. This relationship, he added, is considerably strengthened by the Transport Assets Management (TAM) contract signed between the two institutions.
He acknowledged that the purpose of that contract is to facilitate the provision of primary healthcare for every person living in The Gambia on a regular and consistent basis.
The Regional Director for RFH, Therese Drammeh, expressed gratitude to His Excellency the President for giving Riders for Health the opportunity to work in partnership with the Health Ministry in positively impacting the public health service delivery system of The Gambia.
“When the government outsourced the maintenance of the entire MoH&SW transport to RFH in January 2002, the Ministry had 97 vehicles, only 36 of which were road worthy and of the 36 only ten ambulances were on the road, there were also 70 road worthy motorcycles,“ she asserted.
She said in The Gambia, today, every Government hospital, major and or minor health centre, has an ambulance, motorcycles for outreach services, double cabin pick-ups for programme staff and regional health teams for trekking and supervision. This, she added is unprecedented, noting that it is a model that some African countries come to The Gambia to study.
by Alhagie Babou Jallow
& Binta Jammeh