Botswana: Minister Kwape Appeals for Blood Donations

Jwaneng — Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Lemogang Kwape has appealed to the nation to come forth and make blood donations as the blood bank was running low.

Speaking during Vice President, Mr Slumber Tsogwane's engagement with Jwaneng COVID-19 team at Jwaneng on Friday, Dr Kwape said that Batswana had been unable to make blood donations over the past few months as movement was restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that now that movement restrictions had been eased, it was time that Batswana came forward to donate blood.

Dr Kwape also said that the pandemic had affected the availability of some drugs and medical supplies as they were mostly sourced internationally.

"Most international flights have been grounded, so this obviously affected the availability of drugs that we need, such as the flu shot that we had promised the nation this cold season," he said.

Dr Kwape also said that other services such as dental and surgeries were also halted except on emergency cases.

Meanwhile the Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Dr Edwin Dikoloti said it was time for Batswana to strive for self suficiency in food production.

He said such would cut the country's import bill on agricultural produce with the funds driven to other essential needs such as medical supplies.

Dr Dikoloti said it was not an impossible mission to achieve self-sustenance in food production as 70 per cent of our land was arable.

"We have vast lands that are sitting idle without being put to use, but it is also concerning that there are still some people that demand ploughing fields when those of their parents are under utilised," he said.

He said that in other countries such as South Africa, generational wealth ran in families because farming was inherited from parents, while in Botswana that was not the case.

Dr Dikoloti said that such self-sustenance should start at the household level, where people should be encouraged to plant fruit trees at home.

On other issues, Dr Dikoloti decried the abuse of some government assistance programmes such as ISPAAD, saying in most instances, farmers were dishonest as they often claimed to have planted more hectares than they actually had, leading to government disbursing undue claims.

Source : BOPA

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