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Roles and Functions



The Ministry Of Health and Social Welfare (MOH&SW) is responsible for overall policy formulation, planning, organisation and coordination of the health sector at national, regional, district and community levels.  In order to facilitate efficient and effective coordination of the sector, the following coordination structures have been established.


 Central Level


The MOH&SW Head Office in Banjul is responsible for overall formulation and direction of the national health agenda, including policy and regulatory frameworks, national health planning and priority setting, coordination, and monitoring and evaluation of health sector performance. It is also responsible for resource mobilization and allocation, and provision of technical support and supervision to the regions and specific health programmes.  In order to facilitate efficient and effective performance of these functions, MOH&SW has established coordination structures at national level, which include specific directorates and programme management units, responsible for coordinating specific areas of focus. The current organizational structure at the Ministry includes the following main departments, directorates, and programme units;




The department of Medical and Health comprised of the following directorates: Directorate of Health Services

Directorate of Planning and Information

Directorate of Health Promotion and Education

Directorate of Human Recourse for Health

Directorate of Public Health Research

Directorate of Pharmaceutical Service   


Directorate of Health Services


The DHS is responsible for the coordination, management, monitoring and supervision of health care services within the country. The DHS provides technical advice to the Permanent Secretary and the Minister of Health and Social Welfare.

It also coordinates the functions of the following programme areas:   Reproductive and Child Health, Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses , Expanded Programme on Immunization , Public Health,, National Leprosy and Tuberculosis Control Programme, National Aids Control Programme,  National  Malaria  Control  Programme ,  Bamako Initiative, Nursing, Traditional Medicine and Regional Health Services provision and pharmaceutical services.


  Directorate of Planning and Information


The Directorate of Planning and Information is responsible for the overall planning, budgeting, monitoring and policy and strategy formulation. It includes the following



programme areas: Budget, Planning and Policy Analysis; Human Resource Management; Health Planning, Monitoring and evaluation, Policy Implementation, Health System Research, Registration of Births and Deaths, Disease Control, Maintenance Policy Monitoring, Information Technology and   Health Management Information System.


Directorate of Health Promotion and Education


Health Promotion and Education involves behavioural change communication, advocacy and social mobilization. The components of the Directorate of Health Promotion and Education includes the  following areas such as: Print, Electronic and Traditional Media; Non-Communicable Diseases, School Health, Community-based Information Education and Communication (IEC)/Behaviour Change Communication (BCC); Behavioural Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, Nutrition Education an

Promotion, Injury and Road Traffic Accidents, Hygiene and Sanitation Education, Environmental Communication and Population Health.The mandate and responsibilities of Health Promotion and Education Directorate shall include the following:


Planning, designing, implementing, evaluating and coordinating overall health promotion and education interventions for the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare;

Foster collaboration between the health and other sectors of government as well as institutions, organizations and the private sector to address the broad determinants of health;

Support and coordinate formulation of and or strengthening the implementation of national health promotion policy and national health policy, legislations or strategies for tobacco control in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control;

Provision of technical advice to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare on International protocols, instruments and conventions that have a public health and health promotion underpinning;

Act as the technical adviser to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and oversee patient education/counselling in the country’s medical institutions as part of the health promoting hospital initiatives with a view to ensuring quality care for the poor and the socially deprived;

Act as the technical body to regulate health information dissemination in the country.


Directorate of Social Welfare (DSW)

The Department comprised of the Directorate of Social Welfare (DSW).It is responsible for the promotion and protection of the rights and welfare of vulnerable persons such as children, the elderly, persons with disability and adults in difficult circumstances. To enable them maximize their potential and minimize problems arising out of the imbalance between themselves and their environment as a result of social change. Their services focus on the social protection of individual families and groups.This includes the welfare services to the vulnerable families and individuals, child rights and protection services, elderly care, disability care services and regional social welfare services provision and management.


 Regional Level

The Regional Health Directorates are headed by Regional Directors of Health Services, who are directly responsible to the Permanent Secretary through the Director of Health Services.  Regional Directors of Health Services are responsible for coordinating policy interpretation, planning and implementation of health services, and monitoring and evaluation of health service delivery, within their respective



regions.  They are also responsible for providing technical support oversight to the basic health facilities.


Community Level

The Village health services were established in the early 80’s to provide primary care at community level. Village health post (VHP) were set up in all settlements with a population of more than 400 inhabitants, served by a trained village health worker (VHW) and a trained traditional birth attendant (TBA) who are supervised by the Community Health Nurses (CHNs). They are also selected and supported by the Village Development committees (VDCs) at community level.




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