By Edrissa Jallow
The Chairperson of Parliament’s Select Committee on Health, Refugees, Disaster and Humanitarian Relief, Hon Amadou Camara has responded to the Deputy Executive Director of Medicine Control Agency (MCA), Fatoumatta Jah Sowe’s statement, highlighting that the lack of regional drug inspectorates is not an excuse for the Agency.
It could be recalled that on Saturday 8th October 2022, the Minister of Health called for an emergency press conference to update the general public via the media on the death of at least 69 Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) patients. The Deputy Executive Director who was in attendance at the event disclosed that the MCA doesn’t have inspectorates to inspect the drugs in the regions which she claimed is among the challenges impacting its ability to monitor contaminated drugs.
As previously published on Gainako, the Deputy Executive Director of the MCA confirmed that the Indian company has been supplying drugs to The Gambia for the past 24 years.
In a statement that won’t give confidence to Gambians, the MCA revealed that they don’t have “inspectors yet in the regions” however, a special unit at the MCA called the Inspectorate Unit goes out quarterly to the regions for inspection of drugs.
When our journalist raised the concerns of the MCA Director, Hon Camara was not impressed and argued that to say that the MCA Director’s statement “is not enough and then that cannot be an excuse”.
In an exclusive interview with Gainako Online News report Hon Camara highlighted that “the agency has been existing for a while now and then if there [are] capacity gaps or being it human capacity or materials like facilities they should have raised that long since not today when this tragedy happens so, that’s not an excuse”.
National Reconciliation Party (NRP) lawmaker for Nianija Constituency seized the opportunity to assure the public that Parliament’s Health Committee will work hard to ensure that the root causes of the Acute Kidney Injuries are addressed and that “whosoever is responsible will be held accountable”.
Parliament’s Health Committee Summons Health Officials
Chairperson Camara confirmed that the Minister of Health along with his technical team including the MCA have been summoned to respond to questions on the avoidable death of sixty-nine innocent children to AKI.
“We have already summoned the Minister [Dr Samateh], we called them, they will appear before the committee and then we will do our necessary committee works,” said Chairperson Camara.
According to Hon Camara, the Health Committee is “not only going to summon the Health Minister and their Officials to appear before the committee but we [Health committee] are going further than that”.
The engagement with the Minister and his team will “start soon” as “there is no time to waste because damages are already there and the only thing we have to do now is to find ways and means in addressing it,” concluded Hon Camara.
Below are Gainako’s previous publications on Acute Kidney Injury since August 2022.