Action Aid International The Gambia on Wednesday 29th October, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. The MOU provides a framework that supports cooperation and collaboration between the two institutions to enhance their roles and responsibilities in the prevention and control of HIV & AIDS and Malaria as well as other public health issues. The ceremony, which was held in the office of the health Minister, was also used to hand over a cheque of three hundred and fifty thousand dalasi to the Health Minister, as ActionAid’s contribution towards the polio vaccination campaign in the country and for Action Aid’s Executive Director to pay a courtesy call on the Health Minister.
In a brief ceremony held at the Minister’s office, Omar Badji, the Executive Director of Action Aid commended the health ministry for giving Action Aid the space to complement the efforts of The Gambia government in the delivery of health services. He briefed the Minister on Action Aid’s fourth Country Strategy Paper one of whose pillars aim to contribute to the eradication of HIV and AIDS and Malaria. While noting that the MOU will ensure coordination and strengthen interventions in the area, Badji also assured Minister Sey of Action Aid’s commitment to support its programmes.
ActionAid’s Head of Programmes and Policy, Kebba Sima, re-iterated that health issues are development issues and are therefore critical for the country. ‘Without healthy people, a nation cannot develop and Malaria, HIV and AIDS are illnesses which can devastate a nation ’, he said. Sima emphasized the importance of the MOU and expressed confidence that there will be renewed collaboration between Action Aid and the Ministry of Health.
In reply Minister Omar Sey noted the timeliness of the MOU and commended Action Aid for what he termed ‘buying into the strategic plan of the Ministry of Health’, and for its active participation in the country’s development efforts. ‘This relationship’, he said, ‘is in line with the development goals of the Gambia and I am confident that the mutual relationship between the two organisations will be further strengthened.
Action Aid has for several years been collaborating with the Ministry of Health in the areas of reproductive and child health programmes, malaria prevention and control, water and environmental sanitation programmes and HIV and AIDS.
ActionAid Press Release, 30th October, 2014