By Nelson Manneh
Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, the Minister of Health said Africell’s D12 million dalasi COVID-19 support was not properly coordinated.
Health Minister Samateh made this disclosure on Friday 24th April 2020, during the daily press briefing of the Covid-19 Task Force at the Ministry of Health in Banjul.
According to Dr. Damateh, he did not get details of the recent briefings on this issue; but can say that the activities were not properly coordinated and thought that there was need for all the activities in the fight against Covid-19, be properly coordinated.
“If Africell is to donate to Government and this is not properly channeled, there will be a problem when it comes to accountability. Everybody heard about the donation. If there is no coordination about how it is going to be disbursed at the end of the day, Government cannot be held accountable,” he said.
Dr. Samateh said Africell’s funds were not given to Government and the disbursement cannot be properly done; that this is why they told Africell to sit with Government authorities so that they can come up with a plan on how it is supposed to be disbursed.
“The discussion we had with Africell was fruitful and there is harmony now and we are very happy that our health workers will be supported. However, this has to be done in an orderly manner so that when questions are asked about the 12 million dalasi at the end of the day, we will be able to say something,” he said.
Health Minister Samateh said they are working hard to make sure that all funds being received, benefit the people of the country even after the COVID-19; that one of the best ways to do this is to strengthen the whole Health sector, renovate the buildings and get the right medical equipment that the Gambia has been yearning for; that a lot of people forget about the good things that have been done and are only concerned about the monetary part of the intervention. Dr. Samateh said accountability is very important in this matter; that without proper accountability and good governance, there can be no development. He concluded that the funds received will be judiciously used for them to live a positive legacy on how COVID-19 was managed.
“We are in Government because we want to work for this country. It is not because of riches. In fact, being in Government is just sacrifice for most of us because we know that someone has to do the sacrifice for this country to move forward and because no one will come outside and do it for us,” Dr. Samateh concludes.