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Gambia Govt Dismisses MCA Executive Director Following Task Force Report on AKI

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Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh

By Buba Gagigo

Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, the Gambian Minister of Health, announced on Friday that the government had dismissed the Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director of the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) with immediate effect.

The minister made the announcement while releasing the report of the Presidential Task Force on Acute Kidney Injury (AKI). The report recommended that the two MCA officials be dismissed, and the minister said that the government had accepted the recommendation.

“The government of the Gambia should immediately with immediate effect dismiss the executive director and Deputy Executive Director and consider prosecuting them in line with the relevant laws for the abdication of their official duties,” he said while reading the recommendations of the presidential task force report on the AKI on Friday.

The report found that the MCA had failed to adequately regulate the importation and distribution of pharmaceuticals in the Gambia. This failure, the report said, had contributed to the outbreak of AKI, which has killed numerous children in the country. 

“The response to that recommendation considering the foregoing for the purpose of strengthening the MCA and restoration of public confidence in the institution, the executive director of MCA has been dismissed with immediate effect and also the contract of the deputy executive director is terminated with immediate effect. The report will also be forthwith transmitted to the Gambia police for further action,” the minister said.

Syrup-based medications contaminated with a chemical were previously linked to the death of more than 70 children in the Gambia.

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