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How safe are we, with our Doctors?

Dr Boima

I went through a mix of feelings as I was reading a story published in Weekend Post (April 25 – 01 May 2015) titled ‘A Medical Doctor who rapes with his thick fingers’. First it was a chilling sensation down my spine, imagining what the poor lady could have felt at the hands of someone who was supposed to protect and help her. Then as an afterthought, I thought ‘’what if this is not true’’.

In the story the female patient alleges that sometime in 2012, in Lobatse, a male private Doctor improperly examined her (an exam that was not even indicated) and forcibly kissed her in the absence of anyone.

Is it possible that the lady could have been sexually assaulted by the Doctor? Yes

Could it be possible that the testimony could have been a made up story? Yes

Only the Doctor and the patient know the truth!!!

Anyway the point is not to scrutinise the viability of the story but to reflect on how safe our patients feel with us and vice versa. Yes…there have been stories of health professionals stalked or sexually harassed by patients.

What Patients prefer?

It is no doubt that the most precious and sacred form of personal information that humans possess is their body. It is so personal and intimate that we frequently hide it. This is not surprising that visiting a Doctor and allowing for an intricate examination of our bodies is a source of anxiety for us. In some study that was carried out online, some female patients mentioned that they would never have a male as their gynaecologist because of the following reasons;

– “because a man would only want that job if he were a pervert”

– “only a woman could truly understand female problems”

– “my husband does not want another man touching me down there”

– “because I just feel safe and not vulnerable with another female”

However there is still a percentage of women who feel a male gynaecologist is the way to go;

“male gynaes are usually very gentle while handling you because they can only imagine what you are going through, as they themselves have never undergone such, while female gynaes tend to be more on the rough side”

“it does not feel alright for another female to be looking at your bits, for a man it is natural and acceptable”
Both these views were shared by the local folk as well.

Why men become Gynaecologists?

While in the past, pelvic examinations in women were only done by female Doctors, there is sufficient evidence in literature today that demonstrates a gynaecologist’s gender is not an issue. Another study carried out to determine why men have actually broken through in a field traditionally known as a female’s territory revealed the following;

– delivery of babies is something they enjoy

– because of a female relative (often their mother) who died young from breast cancer, ovarian cancer or other gynaecological pathology

– there is a sense that by helping their patients they are honouring their mothers

– they have incredible respect for women and what their bodies are capable of

Medical laws

By early 1800s, there was already use of ‘chaperones’ as part of a clinical examination. From the standpoint of ethics, the protocol of having chaperones available on a consistent basis for patient examinations is recommended. The chaperone’s role is to emotionally support and reassure the patient during a procedure that s/he finds embarrassing or uncomfortable.

The chaperone also acts as a witness against possible sexual misconduct by the clinician. However, there has been a huge debate as to whether chaperone policies protect the patient or the Doctor as sometimes they can work against what the patient prefers.

A chaperone can be in the form of another Doctor, a nurse, or any other health care worker. Most hospitals both internationally and locally mandate that chaperones be present for breast, rectal or pelvic examinations. But is this actually happening in practice?

In our country, adherence to these rules varies;

Often the issue is lack of staff

No time to track someone down in a busy clinic

Some clinicians think it feels awkward bringing a third party into the room (for different reasons)

Some clinicians feel having a third party implies that they cannot be trusted and must be sharply watched

Some female Doctors feel it just doesn’t feel necessary as most cases of sexual misconduct involve their male counterparts

Patient’s reasons (presence of chaperones can make an awkward situation even more uncomfortable)

What do patients feel about Chaperones?
Studies show that most female patients would want a chaperone present during an intimate examination by a male Doctor (but if the Doctor is a female, the number is extremely low to none)
Male patients reported NOT to want any third party in the room, regardless of the gender of the physician

At the end of the day, it’s the patient’s choice to have a chaperone present during an intimate exam with either a male or female doctor. The goal is to engender trust and make our patients as comfortable as possible, and to avoid such stories as the one quoted in this column.

 And patients must keep this in mind “it is not about gender, there are other characteristics that take precedence in a physician like communication, personal style, training, experience and empathy. Male or female, a good Doctor is just a good Doctor!

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Self-taught fashion designer speaks

26th July 2022

A job, lucrative or not, is a job after all. Sometimes one has to compromise in order to make a living, few people get a job their dream jobs. But once in a while there is an emergence of people who listen to their inner calling to pursue their passion.

The founder and head designer of Butterfly Couture, Chawa July is one of those few people who left their job to pursue their passion. An inspiring fact about July is that she is a self-taught fashion designer, she used to copy patterns from her old clothes until she learnt how to draw them, and she also searched information from the internet to increase her knowledge and skills.

“It all started as a hobby from my love for beautiful dresses and I started adjusting and making clothes for myself. Gradually people around me started to take interest in my craft and the hobby slowly grew into a profitable business,” July said.

The 41 year fashion designer from Molepolole worked her way up in the Procurement space for over 10 years. She worked at Stanbic Bank, Kromberg & Schubert and Clover Dairy as a Procurement supervisor. Her last job before she entered the fashion industry was a Manager for Contacts & Sourcing at a Facilities Management Company.

She established her fashion house in October 2019 and it has become synonyms with elegant wedding gowns and exquisite evening wear. July said when designing she is inspired by various aspects such as the client’s personality, the mood of the event and the theme. She further mentioned that every opportunity is to show her craft so she always aims to please.

“Every Butterfly Couture piece must represent the elegance and the creativity the brand is about,” she said. Butterfly Couture has adorned beauty queens; Miss Botswana 2021/2022 Ambrociah Samboko at Miss Universe in South Korea and Miss Botswana 2019,Oweditse Fafah Phirinyane during her reign of which is the highlight of her career. They have also marked their presence in a few fashion events locally and in the neighbouring countries.”

They showcased at The Grand Palm Wedding Expo, Masa Fashion Show, Miss Botswana Fashion Show and Sacunda plus Size Fashion Show. The will also be showcasing at Gabs July Fashion Show on the 15th of July alongside the South African designer, popularly known as the King of glamour David Tlale.

July also identified that one of the challenges they face in the couture is that, it’s a seasonal business. “There are times in the year when the business is great and challenging. Winter in particular, is difficult time to stay afloat as there aren’t as many events that people are inspired to dress spectacularly for,” she said. She further said that her aim is to be a prime couturier of choice in Botswana.

“Craft like your life depends on it because every happy client is 10 more referrals” is what she said when asked to serve a word of wisdom to people hoping to make it in the fashion industry.

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Gospel awards re-organised

26th July 2022

The Botswana Gospel Music Awards (BOGMA) and the Annual Gospel Awards (AGA) are said to be no longer in existence and a joint venture project has been put up that will carry out the awarding of gospel musicians.

The new entity has been established as Gospel Music Awards, which is a project at this moment is nearer to dishing out the first Gospel Awards under the leadership of the dissolved entities (BOGMA and AGA). “The difference is the same, it is just that the two projects were run by different minds which had differing objectives,” said the project coordinator, Letsweletse Moshabi when asked what the difference was between the two previous awards.

He added that at this junction their focus is on the future of the gospel musicians and they would like to direct their energies to the new project and forgo the past projects. “The Music market especially the gospel genre is too small and that basically means the very small market was experiencing the imbalance in the supply and demand forces. At that stage, supply was more than the demand so the reason for the joint forces is to allow the supply and demand forces to readjust and form equilibrium,” added Moshabi.

The mandate and objectives of the project are to recognize and award gospel music talent, to create awareness of the Botswana gospel music industry and to create a platform where fellow musicians may exchange ideas and network amongst themselves and approach international markets in cohesion.

The first of these joint awards will be held on the 27th August 2022 at Molapo Showcase under the theme ‘Cohesiveness to Build’ where about 18 categories will be up for grabs.

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Makhadzi, Master KG invade Thamaga

18th July 2022

The Kumnandi Ekhaya musik festival will be held on the 30th September 2022 at Thamaga village. The event coincides with the release of famous host, Dj Ngwazi’s first album called ‘spring day’ on the 2nd of September 2022.

The Thamaga born and raised Lefika Lushen Kebatlege is a disc jockey and a music producer signed under WanitwaMos Entertainment in South Africa. Famously known as Dj Ngwazi and formally known as DJ superstar, he has really worked hard to become one of the finest export DJs the country has produced. Internationally, he is described as a DJ from South African because of his works with popular music artist Master KG.

Meanwhile, the music festival will feature South African artists, Makhazi, Master KG, Prince Benza and Mthunzi. They will also be joined by some of the big local artists, Franco, Vee Mampeezy, among others.  “The tickets of the concert will be available at Spar stores, webticket and Kings bar. There will be three categories for VIP tickets, the one that goes for P1000, P1500 and P2200,” said the Kumnandi Ekhaya musik fest promoter Sadie Swartz of Saysay Entertainment.

“We have a new system to tackle the cry of promoters about security at the events. We will have a team of 100 security men, 10 horses and 15 dogs. We also agreed with the police to help with traffic control and no tickets will be sold at the gate to avoid circulation of money which can attract thieves,” said Kagiso Gaodumelwe from All Night Security.

“I started deejaying back in the days when I was still schooling at Kagiso Senior School and I never stopped working towards my career since then. I have a career in South Africa, since 2018 when Master KG took me in and his support as a brother has taken me to places,” said DJ Ngwazi describing his career journey.

“Kumnandi Ekhaya is Zulu language which means ‘go monate ko gae’ in Setswana. The name came about as a way of inviting my South African fans and supporters to my home village Thamaga to come experience the joy that comes with celebrating our freedom and independence. I used isiZulu because it’s the dominant language in South Africa,” explained Dj Ngwazi.

“The concert will be held in an open space which was used for agricultural purposes and we would like to call it ‘Ko Legoleng’. With this concert I want to redeem the dignity of our village because we once had the cases of youth who were terrorizing the community, beating up people in the streets and stealing and these was really a concern in our community because they were tarnishing the village name,” said Dj Ngwazi.

The purpose of this concert is to empower the community of Thamaga and local artist, more especially artist from Thamaga village like, Kgabo Sereto traditional group. There will be a litter picking campaign around the village before the launch of the concert .The sponsors which are already on board are Dladleng Entertainment and Kings bar and there are still more sponsors to be revealed.

”As the Kumnandi Ekhaya musik fest management, we are going to buy food combos and take them to Thamaga village Kgotla so they can be donated to the less privileged and orphans. Starting from October we will be donating pads to all Junior Schools in Thamaga,” said Dj Ngwazi. Dj Ngwazi’s motivational words to other artist and everyone else; work hard, be patient and be determined.

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