By: Kebba AF Touray
Gambia’s Health Minister Dr. Ahmad Lamin Samateh, has disclosed that his Ministry will work with the Directorate of Nursing Services, Nurses and Midwife Council and other partners, to set up a capacity building center specifically for the training of nurses and midwives, in order to enhance their capacity.
Minister Samateh made this disclosure on Monday May 11th while presiding over the launching of the biometric license for Nurses and Midwives at the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Banjul.
Dr. Samateh said capacity building is important in keeping nurses and midwives abreast with new developments in health care services; that the medical profession is dynamic and the continuous professional development of health personnel is crucial to respond to all issues as they unfold.
“The reason for such a center is to have experts locally and internationally to train our nurses and midwives on refresher courses on a regular basis and this is expected to come soon. But this requires the support of our partners so that it becomes a reality,” he said.
Dr. Samateh said the Ministry of Health and Government have gone far in enhancing the work of nurses and midwives in the country; that they want to bring back the glory days of the noble profession of nursing to the country and will support nurses by enhancing their work through training; that currently, Government has acquired some equipment such as oxygen concentrators and others, ready for distribution to make the work of nurses and midwives easier; that in the interim, discussions are at an advanced stage with Turkey, Egypt and Cuba to provide the country with scholarships to train Nurses and Midwives to which they have agreed; that the delay to this program is caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic that has affected all countries.
On the issue of salaries for Nurses and Midwives, Dr. Samateh said no payment is adequate for the services of medical personnel. He however assured that plans are afoot to ensure that they are better remunerated. He however frowned at the conditions of some health personnel in some facilities during their outings and assured that they have gone far in providing the enabling environment such as accommodation for health care givers, in order to enhance better health service delivery to the populace.
He said Government has started the renovation of all health facilities across the country and has handed over during the weekend, some contracts on some of these health facilities for work to start soonest.
While describing Gambian Nurses as hot cakes in foreign countries, Dr. Samateh expressed optimism that they will continue being good ambassadors of the country in their areas of specialization because this is guaranteed by the standard of training that they continue to receive from their trainers.
He implored the Nurses Council, examiners and the association, for bringing about the registration process to standardize the practice of nursing and to bring nursing to its rightful positions in the world.
“Health insurance is coming up and it will ensure all our workers including the nurses and midwives get treatment free of charge. Our strategy is for us to do what we can for our country, so as to impact positively on the people we lead and leave a good legacy. These crusades aim to ensure that things get better in this country and to move nursing and midwifery to a higher height. We congratulate you on your ‘Day’ for being at the service of the people, on behalf of the Ministry of Health and the Government and people of the Gambia,” Dr. Samateh concludes.