First Ladies’ Initiative on the right course - Dr Tamsir Mbowe

Monday, April 7, 2008
Dr Tamsir Mbowe, the director of health services and director general of the presidential treatment program, has said that the vision 2010 initiative of First Ladies is on the right course.

He said that the initiative was here to adopt better targets and goals for the reduction of Maternal and Neonatal deaths by setting realistic objectives and indicators.

Dr Mbowe was speaking at the closing ceremony of the 6th annual sub-regional meeting of the vision 2010 initiative of first ladies on reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality and Morbidity in West and Central Africa. The theme of the four day long conference was: “best practices for community care and newborns’, and it was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Brufut.

According to Dr Mbowe, the concrete goals of the initiative revolve around providing universal education and reducing infant, child and maternal mortality. He added that, while there has been some progress since Bamako; many of the positive changes were still at the level of policy statements and many challenges remain ahead.

He said that much more needed to be done because many women continue to die at childbirth in our sub-region. He further highlighted that the Gambia has recognised the importance of the initiative, which was why government would continue to allocate more resources to the health sector, and more specifically to maternal mortality reduction strategies.

“The challenges ahead of us”, said Dr Mbowe, “are many and we have to increase our efforts, re-examine our mode operandi and avoid repeating our failed practices and learn from best practices in order to obtain better results”.

For his part, Mr Nestu chivute, the UN systems representatives said that there is the need to harmonize our actions collectively and further ensure community participation in all areas for the attainment of targeted goals by 2010. He added that the UN system recognises the effort put in by all countries and would continue to support the initiative in cognizance of the important role the first ladies are playing, which would surely ensure the realisation of vision 2010 targets, which are in line with the MDGs stipulated for attainment by the year 2015.

Mr Patrick Chang, the ambassador of Taiwan, congratulated the Gambia on the successful hosting of the meeting, and commended the representatives of sub-regional states for their presence and efforts towards the reduction of neonatal and maternal mortality. He further assured all the countries of Taiwan’s continued support in all their endeavours, which would greatly help in the attainment of vision 2010.

Dr Obama Justino, representative of Equatorial Guinea, the country chosen to host the next regional meeting in 2009, thanked the organisers for choosing his country as the venue of the next meeting and welcomed everybody to Equatorial Guinea come 2009.

The four day meeting reviewed, among other issues, the achievements that have been made in the past towards the realisation of Vision 2010 and it also looked at ways to advance the development of measures to ensure the collection of proper and adequate data for the improved implementation of all country road maps besides the defining of country needs and creating modalities for support from which recommendations where made on the way forward.

In presenting the Gambia report on V-2010, Mrs Ramou Cole, country rep and meeting coordinator, stated that besides the political will required for better results and added commitment, tackling budgetary constraints and increasing funding would ensure the fast tracking of RCH objectives before 2010.

Author: by Ebrima Jatta