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National Health Policy: “Health is Wealth” (2012-2020)

Republic of The Gambia Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Country Resources General Health Policies Gambia 1 April 2012 Policy document child and adolescent, health system, non communicable disease

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Description

This policy is expected to reform the health system by addressing the major traditional problems of health, the new challenges and the double burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, curbing the HIV/AIDS pandemic and overcoming a weak health system. This reform is in line with the Local Government decentralization and planning based upon the Local Government ACT of (2002), Vision 2020 and the anti-poverty Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE), attainment of MDG: 4 Reduce Child Mortality; MDG: 5 Improve Maternal Health; and MDG: 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases.

The vision of this policy is the provision of quality and affordable Health Services for All By 2020. The mission of this policy is to promote and protect the health of the population through the equitable provision of quality health care. The goal of this policy is to reduce morbidity and mortality to contribute significantly to quality of life in the population.

Morbidity and mortality rates due to communicable diseases have decreased over the years but more pronounced in non-communicable diseases especially among youths and women. In addition to the earlier mentioned health challenges, the main factors contributing to this high morbidity in the population include social determinants and related factors such as poverty, unhealthy environment, unsafe working conditions, poor sanitation, poor nutrition, road traffic accidents, poor access to safe water and poor housing for many. The main causes of mortality within the population are: Malaria, Pneumonia, Anaemia, Diarrhoeal Diseases, road traffic accidents, pregnancy complications and Cardiovascular Diseases. Of increasing concern are the incidences of Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in the population.

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