Dr Tamsir Mbowe, Secretary of State for Health and Social Welfare has announced that the government of The Gambia has approved about D5.2 Million dalasis as an incentive package to enhance nurses’ retention.
Responding to questions from NAMs on Wednesday on his department’s measures to curb the attrition rate of nurses, SoS Mbowe noted that, a task force chaired by the Directorate of Health Planning is working on equitable allocation of the resources based on a well-defined criterion. He added that the emigration of nurses is a global health problem and that the high attrition rate of nurses poses a formidable challenge to the health sector.
Dr Mbowe further stated that the introduction of double-intakes at the pre-service Nurse Training Institutions will address the critical acute shortage of Nursing Officers. He added that they have also been implementing the strategy of improving the work environment. “The activities alligned to this strategy include the provision of staff accommodation. In 2006/2007 staff houses in Bansang Hospital have been refurbished with ceiling fans and refrigerators for most of the houses. Staff houses have been included in the construction of most new hospitals and funded project with IDB to construct new 40 housing units in the AFPRC Hospital,” he said.
He further noted that hospitals have been paying night duty responsibility and on-call-duty allowances. He then noted that a posting committee has been set up to address the problem of staff posting.
He finally added that opportunities for staff training have intensified and very soon a nurse will qualify with a PHD degree, the first- ever to happen in The Gambia.