Botswana: Roadmap Set to Improve Healthcare Provision

Gaborone — The Ministry of Health and Wellness has adopted a roadmap that will improve provision of healthcare services.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Madigele, said this during a media briefing in Gaborone on April 9.

He said the roadmap that was drafted during the ministry's senior executive forum would further advance existing priorities of organisational transformation; sustainable quality health care services, preventative healthcare approach and economic diversification drive.

"The seven key focal areas for the roadmap are decentralisation; universal health coverage; tertiary care; strategic leveraging on the private sector; supply chain; research; and staff welfare and accountability," Dr Madigele said.

He said on the area of decentralisation, district health management teams (DHMTs) would be rationalised from 27 to 18 and would be renamed regional health teams with the authority to hire workers on the A and B salary scales, promote employees up to C1 salary scale and manage micro procurement.

Dr Madigele said the country had done well in ensuring that over 90 per cent of Batswana had access to a health facility within a short distance of 5km from where they live.

But he stressed that true universal access would also require that the services rendered should be of high quality and essential in nature.

The minister noted that the top five causes of death in Botswana in 2017 were HIV/AIDS, ischemic heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections and diabetes, and that since 2007 there had been a sharp rise in the Non-Communicable Diseases among these by an average of 34 per cent.

"The top five risk factors related to these causes of mortality were unsafe sex, poor diet, high blood pressure, alcohol abuse and tobacco use.

Therefore the main causes of mortality and their risk factors in Botswana are primary health care issues.

Our efforts for the attainment of universal health coverage should thus focus on prevention, comprehensive screening, early treatment and surveillance of the community," Dr Madigele noted.

He further said Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital was scheduled to be opened on April 24 and would provide highly specialised tertiary care, and that four district hospitals; Letsholathebe Memorial Hospital in Maun, Sekgoma Memorial Hospital in Serowe, Mahalapye Primary Hospital and Scottish Livingstone Hospital in Molepolole- are being upgraded to referral hospitals.

"Additional areas in which we can actively expand collaboration with the private sector to enhance service delivery include lab, radiology, facilities management, and services such as cleaning, catering and laundry," Dr Madigele said.

While noting that the challenge of shortage of medicines and related supplies has existed owing in part to poor data collection, inefficient logistics and inadequate skilled personnel, Dr Madigele said the ministry is in the process of installing an electronic information management system to better forecast medicine requirements and strengthen inventory management.

Dr Madigele also emphasized the importance of staff welfare including the security of healthcare workers.

Assistant minister in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Mr Biggie Butale said for the proper implementation of the roadmap, they would need the support of all stakeholders in society including the media to disseminate information to the public, community-based organisations and private institutions.

Source : BOPA

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