National Health Policy 2012-2020


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.



  • Infant mortality rate reduced from 75/1000 in 1999 to 28/1000 by 2015,
  • Under five Mortality rate reduced from 75/1000 in 1999 to 43/1000 by 2015,
  • Maternal Mortality ratio reduced from 730/100000 to 150/100000 by 2015,
  •  Life expectancy national increased from 63.4 years to 69 years,
  • Life Expectancy for women increased from 65 years to 70 years by 2015,
  • Life expectancy for men increased from 52.4 years to 58 years,
  •  Malaria incidence reduced by 50% by 2015,
  •  HIV/AIDS Prevalence reduced - HIV1 from 1.6% to 0.5% and HIV2 from 0.4% to 0.1% by 2015),
  • Total Fertility Rate reduced from 5.1 in 1999 to 4.6 by 2015,
  • Diagnose at least 70% of the total estimated incidence of new smear positive cases annually and cure at least 85% of new sputum smear positive patients by 2015,
  •  Reduce morbidity due to non-communicable diseases by 10% by 2015
  •  Reduce morbidity due to other communicable diseases by 50% (2007 base).
  •  Set up a monitoring and evaluation system to ensure timely feedback for corrective measures by 2013
  • Advocate for and influence the enactment of an all-purpose Social Welfare Act by 2013
  • Set minimum care standards of practice for institutions caring for children by 2013
  • Decentralise social welfare service to all regions by end of 2014
  • Set up and maintain a Data Base System for information sharing for all the Units of the Ministry of health by 2015
  • Establish a National Social Welfare Trust Fund for the needy and vulnerable groups including children and persons with disabilities by 2015.
  •  Develop a National Child Protection Strategy and operational Plan by 2013.
  • Advocate for the signing and eventual ratification of the UN Convention for persons with disabilities by end of 2012.
  • Set up a National Plan of Action for the prevention of disability and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities in accordance with the United Nations Standards Rules on Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities by 2013.
  • Develop and implement various programmes for the protection and promotion of the rights and welfare of the differently vulnerable and needy groups in The Gambia by 2014
  • To reduce the prevalence of blinding trachoma to below 5% in any given community by 2020.
  •  To ensure that at least 80% of all straightforward cataract surgery patients have visual acuity of no less than 6/18 with best correction by 2015
  • To increase immunization coverage to at least 90% for all regions and to sustain 96% coverage for Penta 3 nationally by 2015.
  • To contribute to the reduction of mortality due to road traffic accidents by 50% by the year 2020
Policy Document