Thursday, August 11, 2022

TRRC Recommends Indefinite Revocation of Dr. Mbowe’s Practicing Licence  

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The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), had recommended for the practicing licence of Dr. Tamsir Mbowe to be revoke indefinitely, for failing to honour the Medical Code of Ethics and Conduct and for the role he played in the fake Presidential Alternative Treatment Programme (PATP) of former president Yaya Jammeh.

However, the Government in its White Paper stated that it has accepted the recommendations but refers the matter to the Medical and Dental Council being the relevant institution with the authority to take disciplinary measures against medical practitioners.

See below the reproduction of the Commission’s Report and Government’s Position as stated in the ‘White Paper’ as we continue with the serialisation of the document with Theme 10

  • Prosecute Yahya Jammeh and Dr Tamsir Mbowe for negligence causing deaths of PLHIV who took part in the programme who were deprived from lifesaving treatment.
  • The Government accepts this recommendation.
  • Prosecute Yahya Jammeh and Dr Tamsir Mbowe for the inhumane and degrading treatment meted out on PLHIV that took part in the treatment programme.
  • The Government accepts this recommendation.
  • Prosecute Yayha Jammeh for admitting children into the PATP in violation of the provisions of the Children’s Act 2005 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • The Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission.
  • Revoke Dr Tamsir Mbowe’s practising licence indefinitely for failing to honour the medical code of conduct and for the role he played in the fake PATP.
  • The government accepts the recommendation and refers the matter to the Medical and Dental Council which is the relevant institution with the authority to take disciplinary measures against medical practitioners. The Government notes that the Medical and Dental Council’s Code of Conduct is currently under review and will work with the relevant stakeholders to support sensitisation on the Code.
  • Ban Ansumana Jammeh from holding any position in the government at all levels and in any capacity.
  • The Government accepts this recommendation. The Government further notes that the Ansumana Jammeh under reference here is distinct from and ought not to be mistaken with the now deceased brother of the former President.
  • Strengthen existing regulations on the use of herbal medical products through the effective enforcement of the Medicines and Related Products Act, 2014.
  • The Government accepts this recommendation and is committed to strengthening the legal framework guiding the use of herbal medicinal products and the effective enforcement of the Medicines and Related Products Act 2014 and the Medicines and Related Products Regulations 2020. The Government through the Ministry of Health will also renew its efforts to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to sensitise the public on the dangers of unregulated herbal medicine.
  • Ensure access to treatment, care and health services for PLHIV.
  • The Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission and confirms that programmes to ensure access to treatment, care and health services for PLHIV are currently being implemented within the framework of the national AIDS strategy. The Government is also committed to taking necessary steps to ensure the strengthening of these programmes.
  • Train all healthcare workers in The Gambia on HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination and protecting the right to privacy and confidentiality of people living with HIV/AIDS, human rights and medical ethics in the context of HIV.
  • Government accepts this recommendation and remains committed to strengthening national policies and procedures to promote confidentiality and address discrimination and stigma faced by PLHIV/AIDS. It is worth noting that The HIV and Aids Prevention and Control Act 2015 makes provisions to protect the rights of PLHIV. The National AIDs Secretariat under the Ministry of Health provides training to healthcare personnel on stigma and discrimination and protecting the right to privacy and confidentiality of people living with HIV/AIDS which the government will continue to support.
  • Increase access to HIV testing services countrywide.
  • The Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission and will continue to strengthen and increase where necessary testing services across the country.
  • Strengthen the Ethics for Health care providers.
  • The Government accepts this recommendation and is committed to working with the relevant health care professional bodies to review the healthcare- related regulations which include the Medical Control Agency Act and The Pharmacy Act and undertake the necessary reform.
  • Impose penalties, criminal or otherwise, on healthcare workers that disclose the status of people living with HIV/ AIDS to anyone, including family members, without obtaining the prior informed consent of the PLHIV.
  • The Government accepts this recommendation whilst noting that s. 21 of The HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act 2015 protects the privacy of PLHIV.
  • Ensure Media Practitioners uphold the standard for reporting on persons living with HIV/ AIDS.
  • The Government accepts this recommendation whilst noting that s. 21 of The HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Ac 2015t protects the privacy of PLHIV.
  • Impose penalties, criminal or otherwise, on journalists who disclose the HIV status of a person living with HIV/AIDS to the public without the prior informed consent of the people living with HIV/AIDS.
  • The Government accepts this recommendation whilst noting that The HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act 2015 protects the privacy of PLHIV.
  • Support People living with HIV/AIDS.
  • The Government accepts this recommendation of the Commission and is committed to strengthening support services for PLHIV including strengthening the National Aids Secretariat and increasing counselling and testing services across the country.
  • Recognize support groups of people living with HIV/AIDS as an integral part of the public health system and include budgetary support for people living with HIV/AIDS-led support groups within their healthcare budgets.
  • The Government takes note of the importance of strengthening support services for PLHIV and will work closely with the National AIDS Secretariat and other relevant stakeholders in ensuring that people PLHIV have access to treatment, care and support. Furthermore, the Government commits to supporting the medical expenses for PLHIV however to support these

groups fully will be difficult to implement bearing in mind Government’s numerous national development obligations.

  • Put in place a system of social safety nets to protect the right to education and welfare of people living with HIV/AIDS.
  • The Government accepts this recommendation and notes that it is in line with the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act 2015.
  • Provide free primary and secondary school education and other support for children orphaned by HIV.
  • The Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission and notes that it is in line with the national HIV Policy guidelines 2014-2020. The Policy is currently being reviewed and updated. The Government will also work with relevant stakeholders to sensitise the public on this.
  • 19. Strengthen mechanisms and procedures on ways to discipline medical personnel who violate the rules and regulations governing the conduct of medical practitioners Medical and Dental Health Association/MoH Consultations with Medical and Dental Health Association and MoH.
  • The Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission. The Government will support the ongoing review of the Medical and Dental Act and will work with the Medical and Dental Council to take into consideration the failures highlighted by the Commission’s report.
  • Review the regulatory framework to identify inadequacies that enabled doctors and medical assistants to participate and endorse the bogus program
  • The Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission. The Government confirms that review of the Medical and Dental Act is ongoing and will work with the Medical and Dental Council to take into consideration the failures highlighted by the Commission’s report.

To be continued….

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