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Govt and Stakeholders Take Stock of Gambia’s COVID-19 Response

 BY DAYO ADESULU

The Ministry of Health (MoH) and its stakeholders are conducting a national intra-action review of the COVID-19 response with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO). The review will last six days, i.e., from 06 to 10 April 2021 and is held at Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre. The review is aimed at improving the national response to COVID-19 and strengthen the capacity to effectively respond to any emergency.

The Intra-Action Review brings ten COVID-19 subcommittees to share experiences and analyse the ongoing in-country COVID-19 response. Over 35 participants from the government, United Nations, Civil Society Organisations and other partners are sharing best practices, challenges, and lessons learned. The pillars of the response being reviewed include coordination, surveillance, points of entry, laboratory, case management, infection prevention and control, logistics safety and security, risk communication and community engagement, psychosocial social support and research, and vaccination.

Muhamadou Lamin Jaiteh, Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Health thanked WHO for supporting the timely intra-action review meeting and he said this will help to update the national COVID19 Response Plan for 2021.

As part of international best practices, we need to pose and review what transpired so far to learn, make mends and chart a road to improve our actions ahead

Muhamadou Lamin Jaiteh said, ‘As part of international best practices we need to pose and review what transpired so far to learn, make mends and to chart a road to improve our actions ahead. This has been made successful through the technical and financial support from WHO. On behalf of the Minister, I would want to thank WHO for that strong support”

Dr Desta Tiruneh, WHO Country Representative said “The Intra-Action review is an opportunity to review the performance of the country’s response to COVID19, document best practices and identify gaps in various pillars of the response. Mounting effective response will help us to ensure continuity of essential health services that are needed by vulnerable groups of the population such as children, women, and people with health certain conditions that need timely attention.”

According to World Food Programme (WFP) Representative, Yasuhiro Tsumura, “We are delighted to support the country’s COVID-19 response as co-chair the national logistics for COVID-19 response. WFP is supporting COVID-19 response through the ongoing national rice distribution programme to tackle the impact of the pandemic on the population.”

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Yaya Sanyang, national COVID-19 coordinator said there is a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the Gambia and stressed the need to comply with all COVID-19 preventive measures. “There is a recognisable resurgence of COVID-19 and a generally low level of compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures throughout the country,” said Yaya Sanyang.

At the end of the six days deliberation, the Ministry of Health and its stakeholders are expected to come up with a Review Report on the COVID19 Response in 2020 and an updated COVID19 Response Plan for 2021.

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