By: Kebba AF Touray
The Gambia’s Health Minister, Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, has told the national assembly that Brikamaba Health Facility has received over six million dalasi (D6, 551, 522.96) from the Results Based Facility (RBF).
Minister Samateh made the remarks in response to a question asked by Alagie Darboe, the Member for Lower Fulladu West.
“Can the Honorable Minister inform this assembly what plans his ministry has to complete the construction work at Brikamaba Hospital and to address the drug shortage there?” asked Alagie Darboe Member for Lower Fulladu West.
Minister Samateh responded that the ministry is currently receiving support from Jah Oil towards the expansion of the Maternity Ward at the Brikamaba Health Facility. He said the contractor has begun bringing gravel and sand for the pavement of the floor and to continue the rest of the work.
Minister Samateh added: “In addition, the World Bank, based on the assessment done recently, is supporting the Ministry with additional structures including a theatre and preparations are at an advanced stage to commence work.”
Samateh also disclosed that the Ministry has recently begun a process of procuring drugs which will be distributed countrywide, including the Brikamaba Health Facility. He told lawmakers that using the RBF (Results Based Facility), the facility has been getting 60 percent remuneration for drugs, which is equal to D3,930,913.22 meant for the improvement of the services, including the purchase of the essential drugs, whilst 40 percent of the said RBF is meant for staff development.
The public officer said in 2019, the payment made in the first quarter stood at D578, 637.78, second quarter D430, 588.02, third quarter D376, 058 and fourth quarter D316, 294.79.
He said the quarter quality bonus in 2020 in the fourth quarter including December 2019 and January to April 2020 was D616, 138.79, which gives a total of D6, 551, 522.96, was received from the RBF Facility.
He said: “Essential medications are supposed to be procured by the Facilities whenever there is shortage”.
Minister Samateh responded: “It is not an acceptable practice and it is totally wrong, because they are not drug sellers and their work is not to sell drugs, but to provide healthcare service for the people in the facilities. We will be happy that when it happens we get evidence, because when we get the evidence, it will be easy to deal with them.
“I will also urge the people not to patronize them, because people should know their rights to say no to those kinds of things. It is totally unacceptable.”