The Gambia: health partners meet to make progress in development cooperation
Health partners in the Gambia met to discuss their country compact and share the recommendations of the IHP+ 5th country health teams meeting.
Source: WHO Gambia newsletter - Issue 4, 10 April 2015
In the Gambia, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfares held a health stakeholders meeting on Wednesday 4 March 2015 to discuss the last steps towards the finalization of the country compact. The Gambia Compact was developed in 2014 as an agreement for health partners to support the implementation of the National Health Sector Strategic Plan (2015-2020). WHO Country provided technical and financial support through a grant from the International Health Partnership plus other initiatives (IHP+), to recruit a consultant in April 2014 to guide the process of the compact development.
During the meeting the discussion centred on the draft compact that was already circulated to all health partners for comments and to galvanize the support of all stakeholders in finalizing the document. The key messages that emanated from the 5th IHP+ Country Teams Meeting in 2014 were shared with the partners and government officials. In addition critical issues that affect the Gambian situation were highlighted to enrich the discussion on the draft country compact document.
Dr. Hatib Njie, the Compact consultant, Dr. Charles Sagoe Moses, WHO Representative and Mr. Gaston Mpatswe IMF Representative stressed on the importance of strengthening the country financial management system to ensure greater use of the country systems as a necessary step in the Gambia. The meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Lands and Regional Administration, a key Government department in the decentralization of health services management at the district and regional level.
A follow-up meeting was held on 13 March 2015 at the Senegambia Beach Hotel to present and discuss the implementation arrangements for the Compact, the terms of references (TOR) of the various working groups; as well as agree on the roadmap for the finalization and signing of the Gambia Compact. Considering the absence of a health sector policy and strategic plan for a number of years in the Gambia, The Government through the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and social Welfare,
Dr. Makie Taal acknowledge the continued support of the World Health Organization in helping the country achieve the milestone of a health partnership agreement for the first time.
The Government departments and health development partners discussed and agreed on the need for strong NGO participation during the implementation of the Compact, the importance of harnessing health financing opportunities presented by the joint working arrangements as well as the reduction of the list of core indicators for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the National Health Strategic Plan. The Gambia compact is scheduled for signing by the end of April 2015. The response of the stakeholders in health to the compact development process was lauded by the Government. The diverse representation included Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Lands and Regional Government, Nigerian, United States and Cuban embassies, The UN Agencies, The Gambia Public Procurement Authority and The Association of Non-Governmental Organisations.
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