By Lamin Sanyang
The Gambia National Assembly Tuesday, 26 August, ratified agreement between the government of The Gambia and Turkey on cooperation in the fields of health and medical sciences at the National Assembly House in Banjul.
The motion was moved by Mr. Bala Garba Jahumpa, Minister for Foreign Affairs and National Assembly Matters on behalf of the Minister for Health (Omar Sey). Mr. Jahumpa noted that the agreement is based on eight articles to facilitate the cooperation between the two countries.
“The parties, based on the principles of equality and reciprocity, and in conformity with their mutual benefits, shall promote cooperation in the fields of health and medical sciences,” said Minister Jahumpa.
The agreement stated that the parties upon mutual approval shall cooperate by means of strengthening the health system in facilitating short term training of health personnel, cooperation in the fields of communicable diseases, pharmaceutical and medical devices, joint project on decreasing maternal-child mortalities and medical tourism among others.
He said, “The Turkish government shall provide free treatment each year for 25 patients who cannot be treated in the republic of The Gambia.”
The same Article 6 of the agreement stated that the selection of the patients shall be made by the Ministry of Health and social Welfare of the republic of the Gambia together with the Turkish Embassy in Banjul and would be finalized by the approval of the Ministry of Health of the republic of Turkey. It added that the round-trip tickets of the patients shall be covered by the Gambia Government.
However, the agreement shall remain in force for a period of five years from the date of its entry into force. It shall be renewable for one-year period unless one of the contracting parties notifies the other in writing through diplomatic channels of its intention to terminate Agreement 6 months prior to the date of expiration. The termination of this Agreement, it said, shall not affect the activities and projects already in progress or executed.
The Agreement may be amended by mutual written consent of the contracting parties at any time.
The motion was seconded by Hon. Fatou Mbye, Deputy Speaker and Chairperson of the Health Committee of the National Assembly. She commended the motion and highlighted the achievements of the government on the health sector.
Meanwhile, the Agreement was signed by Mr. Omar Sey, Minister of Health and Social Welfare on behalf of the Government of the Republic of The Gambia and Dr. Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, Minister of Health on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Turkey.