Gambia’s National Maternal Health Crisis
Sponsored by Fyen and the Jileng Kunda Project on the behalf of Gambian Women
We (Gambian women) declare the negligence, lack of funding and implementation of quality maternal health by the Barrow Administration and members of the National Assembly an outright war on Gambian women and children!
The maternal mortality ratio is 597 per 100,000 live births, and accounts for 37 percent of all deaths among women aged between 15 and 49 years old. —WHO, 2017
Today, is a day of action! We must hold our political representatives accountable. Time and time again, the people we have elected into office to represent our needs have let us down. Our NAMs are voting in the favor of lobbyists and personal interests, but we mustn’t give up. We must dig our heels in and heighten our civic engagement by trying new and bold tactics.
Below are three simple ways you can hold your National Assembly Member accountable:
Know your representative.
The Gambian National Assembly is unicameral which means it only has one chamber of house unlike for example, the United States that has two— House of Representatives and the Senate. The role of your representative is to serve the interests of your community through bills and resolutions, national and community budgeting, funding allocation, offer amendments and serve on committees etc.
The Gambian National Assembly consists of 58 members who serve a five-year term. Of the 58 members, 53 members are directly elected by you, the people while the remaining five are appointed by the President.
Do you know your representative?
Follow your representative’s voting patterns.
Your representative was elected to serve the needs of your community. If your local hospital or clinic lacks beds, blood, medications, OBGYNs, trained nurses with bedside manners, ambulances, etc. it is the job of your representative to work tirelessly to bring these much-needed resources including funding and effective implementation.
The pressure to bring change starts in your community. It’s important to know just how well your representative is keeping his or her original promises for you vote. Your vote wasn’t given as gift, your vote binds you in a reciprocal relationship with your local representative. Follow their every vote, know where they truly stand and hold them accountable to the promises they made.
Contact your representative.
It’s time to raise your voice, louder than ever before. It’s not enough for you to know your local representatives, it imperative that you know how to contact them and voice your concerns and demand action. This is key in holding politicians accountable and fueling civic engagement. Calling and/or E-mail is a great first step in starting a conversation with a representative, registering your concerns and interests, and building courage regarding your power as an advocate!
TAKE ACTION: EMAIL/CALL YOUR NAM!
1. Call/Whats App your representative (CLICK HERE to Download the script)
2. Send an email (CLICK HERE to Download the email)
3. Post the following on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to encourage your friends and family to join the fight! (CLICK HERE to download post)
Find your NAM and their contact information below:
Download by clicking the upper right corner for the document to appear!
*** This Friday, September 25th at 10am join the MAM (Midwives and Mothers) Organization at Kairaba Avenue & Basse Market to march for better maternal care***