16 June 2019

Botswana: Illegal Abortions in Francistown Worries Medical Officer

Francistown — Authorities in Francistown are worried by prevalence of illegal termination of pregnancies.

Itekeng clinic medical officer, Dr Tagadzikana Majuta, said during a Botsogo Pitso on June 15 that there was a worrying increase of illegal abortions in the city.

He, therefore, advised couples to opt for pregnancy prevention if they were not ready to conceive.

"The law does not allow illegal termination of pregnancy as it has high risks leading to death," he said. Dr Majuta said parents should build rapport with their children and open up to them concerning issues of sex, adding that the most affected in such cases were the youth.

The Greater Francistown District Health Management Team's (DHMT) sexual reproductive health coordinator, Ms Pona Setshego expressed concern over the alarming rise of six year olds to 30 year-olds who are found with Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs) in Francistown.

She noted that for the year 2018/19, over 14 000 people were recorded with STIs in Francistown.

Ms Setshego said between May and August, they observed that cases of STIs were on the rise, adding that, people should also stop engaging in multiple concurrent relationships.

Amongst other cases on the rise in Itekeng ward were genital warts, urethra discharge syndrome and prostitution.

Ms Setshego further advised the youth to visit youth friendly clinics in order to reduce overcrowding at Itekeng clinic.

Itekeng clinic senior nursing officer, Ms Grace Mgadla, urged residents to respect and support health facilitators to enable them to effectively carry out their duties.

She explained that unbecoming behavior from some residents had resulted in some nurses and doctors transferring to other places while others resign, resulting in staff shortages.

Ms Mgadla said the issue was disturbing, adding that Itekeng Clinic had lost six nurses from December 2018 due to ill treatment from the residents.

"Our nurses and doctors are humans like any other person and are bound to make mistakes. However we should not be quick to criticize them but instead we should try and correct them with positive feedback," she said.

Ms Mgadla explained that the pitso endeavoured to provide health education, different health screenings, assess the health services in the clinic and recommend solutions.

However, she highlighted a couple of challenges faced at Itekeng clinic such as the shortage of staff and erratic drug supply which led to overcrowding of patients from Itekeng and other wards in the clinic.

Ms Mgadla implored residents of Itekeng ward to be understanding and patient when seeking assistance from the clinic since there was shortage of staff.

"Itekeng clinic has only one doctor who tries by all means to assist every patient in the clinic, however, the doctor will always give first priority to cases of emergency," she added.

Ms Mgadla further advised stakeholders in partnership with the health ministry to educate the public on health issues in order to have an informed nation by year 2036.

Residents of Itekeng ward advised parents to instill discipline in their homesteads and condemned the practice of selling off their children to older men in exchange for money or food.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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