A-Plus The Gambia in collaboration with The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoH&SW) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on Tuesday validated the Costing of the Basic Health Care Packages, at Paradise Suits Hotel in Kololi.
The meeting that gathered health personalities as well as directors was aimed to help reform health financing system in the country with a view to achieving basic health care package security as fundamental rights of the citizens as enshrined in the National Health Policy 2012-2020, as well as intended to ensure that health care services is provided at the point of delivery at no cost.
Omar Ousman Jobe, executive director of A-Plus, said that this is a laudable partnership initiative for which they have to collectively thank UNICEF for stepping forward to provide the resources to ensure that the methodology for costing primary health care is reviewed and updated.
He said to articulate the requests of UNICEF, there is a need for an expert knowledge of the health sector, a good grasp of health financing and costing methodologies with good product, noting that without any doubt, the efforts of the costing team would ultimately help to improve programme quality in the health sector.
Speaking at the meeting, Dawda Ceesay, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health and Social, recalled that the Directorate of Planning and Information in its quest to ensure that budgetary procedures are evidence-based, has engaged UNICEF through A-Plus The Gambia to undertake the costing of Basic Health Care Packages, the product of which they have gathered people from diverse expertise to validate.
According to him, public health budget preparation and presentation require accurate information in order to influence the rational allocation of resource to various programmes within the sector, adding that reliable data would also empower the Budget Committee of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to monitor and control budget execution process, thereby ensuring value for money.
He added that, policy makers also heavily rely on high quality information to make informed decision, especially in relation to financing of health services (revenue generation, pooling and purchasing).
He added that, the primary purposed of the exercise was to help reform health financing system in the country, with a view to achieving basic health care package security as fundamental rights of the citizens as enshrined in the National Health Policy 2012-2020, as well as intended to ensure that’ health care services are provided at the point of delivery for no cost.
Sara Beysolow Nyanti, UNICEF’s country representative said that it is always a pleasure for UNICEF office in the country to partner and support the development of The Gambia, noting that in The Gambia, UNICEF Programme is to support the delivery result of children where there is accountability for the government and its partners to ensure that what has been agreed internationally and regionally is fulfilled so as children realized all their rights.
“Every time we are in a position, as UNICEF to be able to support the government carry forward those key actions that are necessary to fulfill the rights of children, we would always please to be in that position to do that,” she said.