Jamataka — The Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Madigela, has implored residents of Jamataka to actively utilise a health post in the village.
Officiating at a breast cancer awareness month and official opening of the village health post in Jamataka on October 12, Dr Madigela said government valued people's health, hence taking services closer to the people.
He said this was indicated by their positive action towards Jamataka residents and approval of proposal to use constituency fund to build a health facility.
Dr Madigela said such projects were carried out by the ministry guided by the number of people in an area.
"Although the numbers called for the upgrading of a mobile stop to a health post, the ministry did not have funds to make the changes, hence commending the residents for prioritising health over all other developments."
He said at the time when the facility was a mobile stop, services were being brought once or twice in a month, an arrangement that saw some people defaulting on their prescription.
The minister added that the ministry having adopted the strategic approach of prevention ahead of treatment, they discouraged patients from defaulting on their medication despite the challenges.
He further noted that they decided to empower and reinforce their staff across the country and have them going all out to sensitise communities on health issues to enable them to achieve the intended goal of prevention ahead of treatment.
Furthermore, Dr Madigela cautioned the people against the use and abuse of home brewed alcohol.
"Research has shown that many of these home brews are a health hazard to the consumers since some add remedies which are very dangerous to a person's health such acids.
Look out for such things and always consider your wellbeing instead of putting your lives at risk."
The minister pointed out that people should also avoid the use of drugs and marijuana noting that some people were having mental health illnesses as a result of substance abuse.
He encouraged both men and women to test for cancer, which continued to claim men lives.
Dr Madigela explained that prostate cancer affected men aged 40 and above, adding that men's reluctance to make use of available health services was not helping.
He appealed to the residents to be their brother's keepers by encouraging one another to visit health facilities while they were still in position to be helped as such helped in controlling the spread of any disease.
Since the inception of kick out initiative in 2016, aimed at setting prevention against treatment, senior matron for greater Francistown District Health Management team Ms Nomsa Makole said they had seen a great improvement in the way people of Jamataka were accessing their services.
Giving a brief on the initiative, they did the initiative in the area from December 9-16 in 2016.
She asserted that about 416 people were tested for illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, sexual transmitted infections among others.
She said from the number 265 were women while 151 were men from the ages of 15-35.
She further stated that during the period, they discovered that they were people defaulting on their treatment for HIV/AIDS, reasons being lack of accessibility as they were relying on clinics at Borolong and Natale villages.
The defaulters claimed that financial constraints were their undoing, adding that the new facility in the area would address such concerns.
Former member of parliament for the area, Mr Fidelis Molao hailed the ministry for heeding a plea of having a health post and ensuring that they fully equipped it with necessary things and including the operational staff.
He said this was going to change lives of the people in the area.
He also promised that they were going to ensure that in the next financial year it is expanded to include waiting area and maternity wing.
Source : BOPA