By Ramatoulie Jawo
The Minister of Health, Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh on Tuesday responded to the Report of the Select Committee on Health, Disaster, and Humanitarian Relief Parliamentary inquiry on the Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)
The Select Committee, cognisant of its Constitutional and parliamentary mandate by a resolution of the Assembly, initiated a parliamentary inquiry into the matter of the AKI with a view of unearthing the truth and circumstances surrounding the unfortunate incident, and to advise the Assembly accordingly.
Based on the findings of the Select Committee’s investigations on the issue of Acute Kidney Injury among children, recommendations were submitted for due consideration by the August Assembly.
The Committee asked the Ministry of Health and Medical Control Agency (MCA) to ensure that all medicines brought into the country are registered and listed.
The Committee also asked MCA and Pharmaceutical Council of the Gambia (PCG) to be attached to GRC offices in entry points to monitor pharmaceutical products imported into the country.
In response to the Committee’s reports, the Minister said registration of all medicines is a continuous work in progress and MCA will strengthen it.”Unfortunately, posting more staff at points of entry is a big challenge. Because the proposed budget for Personal Emoluments (PE) that will make this possible was not approved, we solicit for the support of the National Assembly on this,” He said.
The committee further asked for MCA to blacklist Maiden Pharmaceutical products and ban all their products in the Gambian market.
The Minister told the Parliamentarians that MCA has banned all Maiden Products since October 2022 and the ban will continue.The Committee also asks the government to strengthen MCA’s capacity with the needed financial aid, infrastructure, and Human Resources for more effective and efficient implementation of its regulatory functions.
The Minister said it will be difficult to ensure that the current budget for 2023 does not allow recruitment of additional staff and the operational budget has not been increased for 2023.
“MCA can only strengthen its capacity through increment of human resources and infrastructure by increasing its subvention in addition to getting full approval to use its internally generated funds to support its operations through its Strategic Plan as approved by the Board,” he added.In the Committee’s report, the Government was asked to equip the hospitals with the required medical/supplies for the effective and efficient management of patients
The Minister told the members it is an ongoing process.
“The new Health Insurance scheme will help enhance this with other support from the government and its partners,” Dr. Samateh told the NAMs.