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Boitekanelo College: driving Botswana health education


The coming into being of Boitekanelo College, the only private healthcare training institution in the country, is a remarkable story of grits and a burning ambition to see a vision come to fruition. Boitekanelo is one of the home grown concepts that have become regional and international players, in the development of human capital in the healthcare space.

Having identified that Government cannot bear the responsibility of healthcare training all by itself, one Dr Tiroyaone Mampane set out to build a training institute that is set to make Botswana a regional hub for healthcare training.

“Governments around the world, ours included, have come to realize that  healthcare training can not be left as the responsibility of Government alone,” said Ketlogetswe Montshiwa, Director-Strategy and Institutional Planning at Boitekanelo, during an interview with WeekendPost this week.

In his early thirties, the founder, president and managing director of Boitekanelo, Dr Tiroyaone Mampane, is said to have opted mostly for night duty, while he was within the public service. This was so that he could, during the day, run around with the very tedious tasks of setting up the institute. Close to eight years now, Boitekanelo College has been in operation, having moved into a multi million pula state of the art facility in Tlokweng.

As a strategy to enter the market, the College offered quality healthcare related programmes that were not offered by the mainstream public institutions, the Institutes of Health Sciences. This has since helped to place Boitekanelo among the premier health care training institutions not only in Botswana, but in the region. Dr Mampane did not aim to realize this vision alone,  he roped in those who believed in it and they assisted him to turn his dream into reality.

Ms Montshiwa told this publication that: “Governance structures were put in place from the very beginning and that, together with leadership by an entrepreneur and highly qualified staff, is the secret to the success of Boitekanelo College. We have a board of governors comprising of high caliber individuals who are leading in the various fields of finance, legal, medicine and human resources.  The academic council oversees issues of quality and standards. We have , an in house quality assurance manager and a curriculum development specialist, something that is international best practice.”

“Being a private institution  is an added advantage because we have flexibility that allows us to quickly respond to market needs unlike Government where new ideas have to be taken through lengthy decision making and budget processes.”

She added that: “Short term programmes and attracting full time studenst from abroad are the key to the future sustainability for the College; we aim to run Boitekanelo as a business and we want to avoid a situation where we are affected if the level of government sponsored students declines significantly.”

Montshiwa said that the College has various international partnerships with eminent institutions such as Duke University in the United States, University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University and The  Cape Peninsula University of Technology which has helped to develop the emergency care programmes for Boitenakelo as well as the Swaziland Ministry of Health, to name a few.

“We have a regional footprint and we have attracted students from as far as Nigeria, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland.”

Currently operating on two Campuses; Tlokweng and Mogoditshane the College is on course to complete a school of nursing later this year, and anticipates that it will start training nurses from January 2016. This will bring the intake of student to well over 3000 from the current 2800.

Boitekanelo sets the bar high, offering a diploma in Clinical Technology, a program not widely offered even in South Africa where only 3 universities have it. A qualified Clinical Technologist would be specialized in one of seven specialization areas: Cardiology, pulmonology, critical care, nephrology, reproductive biology, perfusion, and neurophysiology. Clinical Technology graduates would be almost guaranteed employment in this very difficult economic climate. The story of Boitekanelo College is highly inspirational.

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.

Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021

Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.

The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.

According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.

Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead.
According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.

“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.

The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.

The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.

Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.

Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty.  “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.

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