By Adama Tine
After a thorough audit carried out by the National Audit Office (NAO) involving interviews, surveys, document reviews, site visits and physical verification of 14 designated Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric Care (CEmOC) facilities in the country, the NAO has queried the National Assembly that seven of those reports had been sent to them and yet none had so far been discussed.
According to a report released on Monday at the NAO office, seven of their audit reports were completed and sent to the National Assembly but all of them have not yet been discussed at the Assembly level.
The report also added that the discussions of those reports would have helped publish the report, put pressure on the relevant officers to implement the recommendations and eventually translate into better service delivery to improve the life of Gambian citizens.
According to the NAO, Solid Waste Management by the Banjul City Council in 2016, HIV AIDS Prevention Treatment, Care and Support in The Gambia in 2016, Distribution of Electricity by National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) within the Greater Banjul Area in 2017, Management of the Community Fisheries Centers in 2018, Drug Storage and Distribution by the Central Medical Store in 2018, Monitoring of Education System by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) in 2020 and Emergency Obstetric Care (EmOC) in Public Health Facilities in 2020, were the reports sent to the National Assembly.
Furthermore, the audit office recommended that the Ministry of Health should ensure that health centers are strengthened both in terms of human capacity, theatre infrastructure and equipment to better manage obstetric emergencies before and during referrals.
“The Ministry of Health should consider the possibility of training other cadre of the midwifery other than the Registered Nurses/Midwifery (RN/Ms) on Atrioventricular Dissociation (AVD) so that the quality of the care provided can be enhanced, especially when RN/Ms are not available in all facilities mandated to provide the services,” the report revealed.
It also stated that the Ministry of Health should consider making available feasible diagnostic methods for testing for anemia, and other necessary investigations at trekking stations to improve the detection of anomalies at that level without the need for traveling to health facilities for such examinations.
The report further noted that the ministry should ensure that the existing midwifery staff are efficiently allocated based on clear guidance above the minimum norms and also that the minimum staffing norm should be revisited and adjusted to the realities on the ground.
NAO also recommended that the ministry should ensure that facilities are well equipped to provide efficient and effective services for patients, and that there is always timely available or replacement of medical equipment facilities.