By Ramatoulie Jawo
Minority Leader and Member for Brikama North, Alhagie S. Darboe, earlier Wednesday tabled a motion seeking parliamentary inquiry in the child deaths linked to the Acute Kidney Injury (AKI).
The motion seeks the Select Committee on Health, Refugees, Disaster and Humanitarian Relief to conduct an inquiry to establish the cause(s) and the impact of the AKI on children in The Gambia; the effects of the contaminated medical syrups linked to the deaths, among others.
It also seeks the Committee to submit the report on its findings on or before 30th November 2022.
Below reads the full motion tabled by Minority Leader and Member for Brikama North, Honourable Alhagie S Darboe.
MOTION ON THE ACUTE KIDNEY INJURY RESULTING TO THE DEATH OF AT LEAST 70 CHILDREN IN THE GAMBIA
Minority Leader and Member for Brikama North, Honourable Alhagie S Darbo
I move that this august Assembly do consider and adopt a motion on the Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) resulting in the death of at least 70 children in The Gambia.
Honourable Speaker, the Assembly:
1) Noting with grave concern the news of the death of children by Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), which is being linked to some contaminated medicines;
2) Expressing deep condolences and sympathy to the families and victims of this tragic incident;
3) Noting government and health authorities ongoing investigations about the causes of this unfortunate death and the reported allegation of the contaminated drugs;
4) Taking note of the preliminary investigation by The Gambia Police on the deaths of at least 70 children from Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) in The Gambia;
5) Acknowledging the efforts of the government and in particular the Ministry of Health since the outbreak, notifying WHO as well as requested for an investigation into the matter;
6) Recognising the action of the Ministry of Health in suspending and recalling the alleged contaminated drugs in The Gambia as well as raising alarm;
7) Noting the medicine safety alert and directive issued by the Ministry of Health relating to all ‘contaminated, substandard, and falsified medicinal products’ sourced from Maiden Pharmaceuticals in India;
8) Concerned that some quantity of allege(d) contaminated drugs are still unaccounted for or recalled;
9) Appreciating that the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) has instructed all health care workers to stop prescribing, dispensing and use of all batches of the alleged contaminated drugs;
10) Recognising the general constitutional powers of this Assembly to perform oversight over government operations and activities;
11) Recognising the power of the Assembly to establish committees with the general mandate to inquire into the activities or administration of ministries or departments of the government;
12) Cognisant of the power of Committees to investigate or inquire into any matter of public importance;
13) Hon. Speaker, the Assembly now, THEREFORE, RESOLVED:
a) That the Select Committee on Health, Refugees, Disaster and Humanitarian Relief, in accordance with the ToR herein, conducts a full-scale parliamentary inquiry into the matter of the AKI and related deaths with a view of unearthing the truth and circumstance surrounding this unfortunate incident, and to advise the Assembly accordingly;
b) That the Select Committee on Health submit its report and findings on the inquiry on or before 30th November, 2022;
c) That the Select Committee on Health be granted leave to meet during Session.
TERMS OF REFERENCE
(1) The Select Committee inquiry seeks to establish the cause(s) and the impact of the AKI on children in The Gambia, and in particular inquire:
a) the root causes of the reported death of at least 70 children;
b) the effects of the contaminated medical syrups linked to the deaths;
c) the to (sic) access primary health care services on emergency cases especially for children;
d) the culpability of the suspected importers and pharmacies linked to contaminated drugs;
e) the impact of access to, and availability of, medical drugs, especially for children, has on emergency health service;
f) the effects of the prevailing legislation, the Pharmacy Council, Medicines Control Agency on the pharmacy, licensing and medical regime of the country;
g) to consider proposal for a review of the legal and regulatory regime governing the pharmacy, medical drugs importation and store and licencing administration;
h) how the pharmacy license scheme is administered;
i) the effectiveness of current measures being undertaken by Ministry of Health to address the AKI cases and contaminated medical drugs;
j) to draw on other international best practices and protocols, possible strategies, initiatives, and actions that Ministry of Health should consider addressing the administration and impact of medical importation; and
k) any other related matter.