By Abdoulie Nget
The Gambia Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) of The Global Fund in collaboration with The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Agriculture and Employers’ Association on Wednesday held a consultative forum to share experiences and information on the various programmes being implemented under the Global Fund.
The forum held at Kerr Jula’s office in Bijilo, was aimed at providing efficient coordinating, monitoring of funds and implementation of programmes to effectively curb diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in order to achieve high degree of success in the implementation of the Global Fund grant.
The Gambia CCM consist of government institutions and agencies, private sector, non-government organizations in country multilateral and development partners, academic and educational institutions, people living with HIV and AIDS and TB, religious and faith based organisations.
In his welcoming remarks, the Chief Executive officer of the GCCI Alieu Secka said the private sector is a very important partner in the health sector of the country, and hence should be involved in any decision making in the area of health and its related activities.
He further said the GCCI has been very effective in coordinating the business sector over the years and will always have its doors open for the private sector and the health department for the development of the country in all aspect including especially in the health sector.
For Lamin Camara, the permanent secretary, Ministry of finance, said good health has a positive contribution towards the economic status of the Gambia, and the government has been doing a lot towards the attainment of quality health service delivery. He further urged the private sector to step in and plough back part of their profits to help complement government and The Global Fund.
Momodou Kalleh, of National Control Programme, and other presenters noted in their deliberations that the country is facing a donor fatigue as the Global Fund is the only main donor to The Gambia’s health system. “The Global Fund, were disbursing funds throughout and now that they introduced a new funding model, we don’t know what will follow. They did well over the years, but we now need more intervention from the private sector,” Kalleh said.
In his contribution, Mustapha Alex Dacoster tasks the government to reduce the burden of tax on businesses to enable them contribute towards its development process.The meeting also saw a presentation and discussion on the AIDS Prevention and Control Act.