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Gambia Needs D8 Billion to Deliver Effective Healthcare Service, Says Official

Patients at a Gambian hospital photo credit: Pinterest

The Director of Planning at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Gibril Jarjue has said that The Gambia needed about D8 billion to effectively run a vibrant health care service delivery.

He was speaking Friday at the opening ceremony of HackWeakEnd, a youth-led, social-impact, tech-for-good initiative focusing on impact and sustainability, with the theme ‘Good Health: The Wealth of the Nation’.

“This year, the Gambian government budgeted about D1.03 billion and when this is divided among the estimated population of two million you will realize that the government is spending about five hundred and seventeen dalasis on each citizen to take care of their health care services,” Jarjue said.

“According to micro economic commission on health, for a country to have a good healthcare system it has to spend a minimum of $80 (about D4000) on each individual. When you multiply this by two million you will realize that this country needs about D8 billion dalasis to effectively run its health care service delivery,” said.

Jarju told the gathering that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare was underfunded with only about 12% of the requisite funding available to service the country’s health system. He said with such a budget, it would be almost impossible for the ministry to adequately take care of the country’s health service delivery needs.

According to him, “the focus of the Ministry of Health is the drive towards universal health coverage for all, ensuring that with or without money each and every person can have access to health care.”

Health in The Gambia has been plagued by extremely poor access to proper healthcare and poor state of state hospitals.

Youths attending HACKWEAKEND

The founder of HACKWEAKEND, Olawale Fabyi said his organization was working with and engaging the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, healthcare practitioners, partners, sponsors and industry experts and have come up hack-sets in which problems plaguing the health sector were identified and have been put into perspectives and ready to be solved. This year’s event will feature a Hackathon to solve issues affecting the Gambia’s healthcare sector. It will also feature a software development training in Python for entry level enthusiast and mid-range software developers.

HACKWEAKEND aims to attract change by bringing young and dynamic enthusiasts and software developers, providing solutions to problems affecting the country on health issues.

“We expect that at the end of the day we will be able to develop software that can be useful to the health service delivery of the country,” said Olawale Fabyi.

The event ends on Saturday.

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