In an effort to revitalize what seems to be a continuous deteriorating health care system, health scholars have pointed the important need of research and innovative strategies in the health sector as this will enhance sustainable quality healthcare and improve health services delivery.
Officiating during the 4th International Research Conference for Institute of Health Sciences and Mission Institutions, University of Botswana Vice Chancellor Professor David Norris hinted that for any health system, there is no reasonable services can be delivered without paying attention to research and innovation. He noted that research remain an engine to health promotion and economic growth adding that empirical research evidence strengthens capacity building across health sciences discipline.
‘‘ A lot still needs to be done on health research perspective and research that is informed by challenges faced by the society and health sector at large should be conducted with the outcomes being fully implemented to bolster the local health system,’’ charged Norris. Norris indicated that the local health workers through Institutes for Health Sciences and Mission Institutions are in a better environment to be the driving force of research and emphasized that the government should avail more resources for this institutions to come up with innovative health improving strategies based on research.
He added: ‘‘Training of health professionals should be theoretical based but it should be extensively practical as well with innovative teaching modes being applicable. As a result research on health sciences and funding should be a priority for the government for promoting the healthcare, because with a sick population there is no productivity and no economic development as well.’’
Moreover, he raised concern that of recent pregnant mothers have been losing babies due to miscarriages in public hospitals therefore calling on the researchers to tap in the issue with research in order to find out the root cause of the problem. The UB provost also reckoned that there is a need for forging relationships and collaborations with powerhouse’s health sciences and research institutions such as Harvard University and pointed out that the strong relationship between local health training institutions and the industry at large will propel the innovative ideas which will promote effective health sector.
He also cautioned that the data analysis and samples of researches conducted in Botswana should be also done locally, as this will help in improving research capacity amongst the local health researchers or scholars citing that this will also enable the implementation of knowledge based economy which hinges on aspects of local evidence base research, innovation and the application of technology.
For her part, the University of Eswatini based scholar, Professor Patricia Joubert said for the past 50 years most African governments made significant strides in investing on the health sectors through training of nurses, doctors and building health facilities She however noted that there is a necessity to improve on health training practices and align them to the west training system as an endeavour to initiate the doctor or nurses without borders and this could be only successful through applying sophisticated, innovative and integrated health professional training methods.
Professor Joubert also said Botswana as a country should be applauded for investing a lot on both the health and education sectors as this is not the case with some African counterparts which are experiencing decline in the health budget putting priorities on other selfish interests particularly by the leaders.
University of South Africa lecturer in the Department of Health Studies and Dr Margaret Ramukumba challenged on the Ministry of Health & Wellness to embark on benchmarking process on other countries health systems, and emphasized the importance of strengthening health promotion through Community Based Teams through implementation on Community Health Workers which is a model in which Botswana can tap into to re-energize the local Primary Health Care.
Ramukumba also proposed that the government through the MOHW can invest into Mobile Health which she pointed is doing very well in South Africa as it can enhance the creation of Health Information Hub which will particularly assist health researchers when looking for information during research period.
PRINCESS MARINA STUMBLING BLOCK FOR RESEARCHERS
The local health professionals have expressed with concern how their efforts to conduct research are halted by Princess Marina Hospital which they expect it to be a major source of information for their research. Some told this publication that the management of PMH takes long to give back the permission on their proposed research areas adding that the hospital is cagey to share information with the researchers due to some intimidating kind of bureaucracy found in the hospital.
One of the health professionals said: ‘‘Sometimes as the workers we are willing to conduct research and our only difficult is getting access to information from the public health facilities which are the mainly prime sources of information. The Ministry as well is not doing enough to help us meet our desires as there is no adequate research budget set aside.”
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.