7 November 2017

Botswana: 'buy Houses to Augment Accommodation'

Parakarungu — The Ministry of Health and Wellness has been urged to consider buying some houses from Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) in an effort to address staff accommodation for health officers working in the village.

Parakarungu deputy chief, Kgosi Richwell Nkonkwena made the plea at a meeting by the health assistant minister Mr Dikgang Makgalemele in the village recently.

He said accommodation has been a serious challenge for public officers especially health officers and pleaded with the assistant minister to consider buying the three BHC houses which were constructed in the village.

He said the houses were complete and had been idling for four to six months without occupants.

Kgosi said officers were struggling to secure habitable accommodation in the village and hoped that securing BHC houses could be a solution.

Kgosi Nkokwane also informed the assistant minister that villager leadership was enjoying a good working relationship with health officials.

"We work as a team here and we are happy with the services offered as our people could easily access ARVs easily and every Thursday a doctor visits our health facility to consult patients," he added.

At Satau, the assistant minister was informed that all the village committees were working as a team as far as health issues were concerned.

It was reported that every first week of the month, the community organises a wellness day to spread the message of prevention of non-communicable and communicable diseases.

Officials at Satau clinic decried shortage of midwives. Responding to the comments, Mr Makgalemele commended the two villages for taking health issues seriously noting that government could not win without communities' involvement.

He was also pleased to learn that there was a headman working with health officers.

He said that was a sign that leaders appreciated the importance of health issues in the community.

With regard to shortage of accommodation, he said it was a challenge country wide.

Mr Makgalemele said they would look into the issue to see adding that if funds permited, they could consider buying or renting the houses to address the problem at hand.

He also informed the communities to consider the CATCH initiative which encourages villagers to be organised in groups and to initiate actions according to their own assessment toward reaching the zero infection goal in their locality.

CATCH stands for Community Acting Together to take Control of HIV and it is a community driven- approach led by traditional leaders supporting the initiative and organising the villagers to act.

Mr Makgalemele said they could use the approach for diseases prone to their areas such as malaria.

Meanwhile, Chobe District Health Management Team has been urged to come up with a proposal of how the ministry could promote medical tourism in the district.

Mr Makgalemele said the district had a lot of positives because it is a high tourism area hence the need to promote medical tourism so that tourists could access high quality services.

Source : BOPA

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