When fully operational, the Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital (SKMTH) is expected to avert the need for the government of Botswana to refer patients to the Republic of South Africa and other countries like India for high level care, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Ruth Maphorisa has said.
SKMTH is expected to be fully operational early next year (2019). The hospital, it is expected will save government millions of Pula, and relieve pressure from Botswana’s major public health care providers, Princess Marina Hospital (PMH) and Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital when it comes to elite patients. The hospital will also come as competition for private hospitals such as Bokamoso Private Hospital and Gaborone Private Hospital.
The hospital, located on the grounds of the University of Botswana campus in Gaborone, is a 450 bed quaternary hospital. The mandate of the hospital when fully functional is threefold: which will be to provide world class medical services at a quaternary level, to work in conjunction with the University of Botswana School of Health Services to provide world class health education, and lastly to act as a hub for health research.
It is hoped that the hospital will attract the best clinical and academic staff in the region, possibly internationally, and will be a destination of choice for clients seeking world class cost effective medical services. The hospital, according to Maphorisa will operate as a quaternary hospital. “It will fit into the apex of a healthcare referral ecosystem that entails the two regional tertiary hospitals, namely PMH and Nyangabgwe Referral Hospitals, which will refer into SKMTH for super-specialized health services.”
For a long time the government has been sending patients to India and South Africa for average and complicated surgeries. A whopping P 627 504 802 was spent on South African hospitals between 2014 and 2017 while Indian hospitals gobbled P13 million from the ministry between 2015 and 2017.
Upon full commissioning, SKMTH will offer broad areas of service like; Critical and Trauma Care, Women and Child Care, Cardiac Care Comprehensive Oncology Care, Nephrology and Transplant Services, Internal Medicine, Surgical Services and Allied Health Services.
Most of these cases have been referred across the borders. Reasons to transfer patients to private facilities outside borders ranged from complicated cases, lack of proper equipment and infrastructure in the local hospitals. Both Marina and Nyangabgwe are said to be lacking capacity in the three components to do the work with diligence. Additionally, Maphorisa says SKMTH will train and produce international standard healthcare professionals for the entire national healthcare system, and beyond.
“Through research, SKMTH will lead in the development of health solutions for its population and community, such as vaccines and new modalities of treating and managing emerging and established health challenges,” she told WeekendPost. Based on on-going project commissioning work, it is reasonably anticipated that official opening of SKMTH will be in March/ April 2019.
The three areas of concern for the local health fraternity has always been Oncology, nephrology and ophthalmology. Oncology is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. Nephrology is a specialty of medicine and pediatrics that concerns itself with the kidneys.
An online platform, medical.com defines it as “the study of normal kidney function and kidney disease, the preservation of kidney health, and the treatment of kidney disease, from diet and medication to renal replacement therapy (dialysis and kidney transplantation).” Nephrology also studies disease conditions that affect the kidneys, such as diabetes and autoimmune disease; and systemic diseases that occur as a result of kidney disease, such as renal osteodystrophy and hypertension.
On the other hand vision health says Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine and surgery (both methods are used) that deals with the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eyeball and orbit. The SKMTH project is the first of its kind in Botswana, both in terms of magnitude and complexity. The Vision of the hospital is anchored on providing unmatched regional excellence in the areas of clinical care, education and research.
The painstaking process of procuring and receiving equipment, finalizing the business plan, finalizing and executing an organizational structure and culture that will deliver to the aspirations of the project, developing management operating systems, processes, procedures and quality standards, is one that is being approached with the utmost care and caution, while balancing that with the need for a timely opening to serve the needs of the community/nation.
The capital expenditure has been in the region of 2 billion Pula. Operating costs are still being defined as part of the business plan for effect next Government financial year. The idea to open the facility came as the government wants to position Botswana as one of the leading health centres. The facility was named Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital (SKMTH) after the late Sir Ketumile Masire, who was the second president of this republic.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.