Connect with us
Advertisement

BIH launches yet another mobile technology


Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) on 24 February 2015 launched yet another innovation under their mobile health innovation competition, Mhealth.


Mhealth refers to the practice of medicine and public health supported by mobile devices to provide health services and information. The field mostly emerges as a means of providing greater access to segments of a population in developing countries, as well as improving the capacity of health systems in such countries to provide quality healthcare.


Nonetheless African countries such as Rwanda and Kenya have taken tremendous strides in the utilizing  the MHealth platform and are sharing with the world the impact of such mobile technology.


While giving his welcome remarks during the launch Dr Kabelo Mokgacha from the Ministry of Health said the global scale innovators are developing life changing applications that one from his generation could have never imagined such as  a mobile tool that would help doctors determine the right amount of insulin to give a diabetic patient as well as a mobile tool that links expectant mothers to gestation age-specific pregnancy information.


He said as the Ministry of Health, they realize this is an important step aimed at bringing together the different stakeholders active in the health landscape in Botswana and appealing to the youth to bring forth their creative abilities in nurturing an opportunity in mobile Health.

He said as the department responsible for monitoring “all things data” in the Botswana health system they fully maintain their role in this collaborative effort and encourage youth to come up with sustainable and rigorous technologies in this arena.


The initiative that was launched 3 years ago is seen as contributing towards the transformation of a mineral based economy to a knowledge based economy. The 2013 MHealth award recipients Derrick Khupe and Billy Batlegang presented their Mobile Text which they referred to as a simple proto- type system which was developed in Java.

According to the duo, through their innovation, expecting mothers could register and keep on receiving messages updating them on their pregnancy on their mobile phones. They are currently partnering with Orange Botswana to pilot the project.


The 2014 winners Team Black Oak developed a data base system which will keep patients’ medical history. According to this team of three ladies the system will help in situations where a patient is unconscious and doctors need their medical history, saying it could help for problems such as allergies. 

The project known as Poloko was given thumbs up by the Ministry of Health and assured the developers that they would work with them since they were also engaged in a project similar to that one at the Ministry.


Orange Botswana’s Director of Corporate Affairs Lepata Mafa, said they have been part of this initiative since inception in 2013, their main aim with all partners is to leverage on mobile penetration to support the public health care system. “Orange strongly believers in using ICT for sustainable development, as a mobile and technology provider, they believe that technology is a critical element of social development,” Mafa said.


As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility strategy which seeks to promote sustainable development Orange currently has an on-going mobile health or Telemedicine project with the Ministry of Health known as Kgonafalo. This is a mobile diagnostic platform which is currently used for cervical cancer screening, dermatology and Oral diseases diagnosis and radiology.

Nurses in remote areas are able to communicate with health specialists in towns, who then assist the nurses to give a quick diagnosis of the patient’s ailment. This saves time for patients as they avoid travelling to main towns to consult the specialists.

Continue Reading

News

Transgender persons in Botswana live a miserable life

23rd November 2020
Transgender persons

An international report complied in South Africa dubbed ‘Legal Gender Recognition in Botswana’ says that the transgender and gender non-conforming people in Botswana live a miserable life. The community experiences higher levels of discrimination, violence and ill health.

In this report, it has been indicated that this is because their gender identity, which does not conform to narrowly define societal norms, renders them more vulnerable. Gender identity is a social determinant of health, which means that it is a factor that influences people’s health via their social context, their communities and their experiences of social exclusion. The Ministry of Health and Wellness has recognized this, and transgender people are considered a vulnerable population under the Botswana Second National Strategic Framework for HIV and AIDS 2010-2017.

In a recent study that shed light on the lived experiences of transgender and gender non-conforming people in Botswana, transgender persons often experience discrimination because of their gender identity and expression. The study was conducted by the University of Cape Town, LEGABIBO, BONELA, as well as Rainbow Identity Association and approved by the Health Ministry as well as the University of Botswana.

Of the 77 transgender and gender non-conforming people who participated in the study, less than half were employed. Two thirds, which is approximately 67% said that they did not have sufficient funds to cover their everyday needs. Two in five had hidden health concerns from their healthcare provider because they were afraid to disclose their gender identity.

More than half said that because of their gender identity, they had been treated disrespectfully at a healthcare facility (55%), almost half (46%) said they had been insulted at a healthcare facility, and one quarter (25%) had been denied healthcare because of their gender identity.

At the same time, the ‘Are we doing right’ study suggests that transgender and non-conforming people might be at higher risks of experiencing violence and mental ill-health, compared to the general population. More than half had experienced verbal embarrassment because of their gender identity, 48% had experienced physical violence and more than one third (38%) had experienced sexual violence.

The study showed that mental health concerns were high among transgender and gender non-conforming people in Botswana. Half of the transgender and gender non-conforming study participants (53%) showed signs of depression. Between one in four and one in six showed signs of moderate or severe anxiety (22% among transgender women, 24% among transgender men and 17% among gender non-conforming people).

Further, the study revealed that many had attempted suicide: one in three transgender women (32%), more than one in three transgender men (35%) and three in five gender non-conforming people (61%).

International research, as well as research from Botswana, suggests that not being able to change one’s gender marker has a negative impact on access to healthcare and mental health and wellbeing. The study further showed that one in four transgender people in Botswana (25%) had been denied access to healthcare. This is, at least in part, linked to not being able to change one’s gender marker in the identity documents, and thus not having an identity document that matches one’s gender identity and gender expression.

In its Assessment of Legal and Regulatory Framework for HIV, AIDS and Tuberculosis, the Health Ministry noted that “transgender persons in Botswana are unable to access identity documents that reflect their gender identity, which is a barrier to health services, including in the context of HIV. In one documented case, a transwoman’s identity card did not reflect her gender identity- her identity card photo indicated she was ‘male’. When she presented her identity card at a health facility, a health worker called the police who took her into custody.”

The necessity of a correct national identity document goes beyond healthcare. The High Court of Botswana explains that “the national identity document plays a pivotal role in every Motswana’s daily life, as it links him or her with any service they require from various institutions. Most activities in the country require every Motswana to produce their identity document, for identification purposes of receiving services.”

According to the Legal Gender Recognition in Botswana report, this effectively means that transgender, whose gender identity and expression is likely to be different from the sex assigned to them at birth and from what is recorded on their identity document, cannot access services without risk of denial or discrimination, or accusations of fraud.

In this context, gays and lesbians advocacy group LEGABIBO has called on government through the Department of Civil and National Registration to urgently implement the High Court rulings on gender marker changes. As stated by the High Court in the ND vs Attorney General of Botswana judgement, identity cards (Omang) play an important role in the life of every Motswana. Refusal and or delay to issue a Motswana with an Omang is denying them to live a complete and full-filing life with dignity and violates their privacy and freedom of expression.

The judgement clarified that persons can change their gender marker as per the National Registrations Act, so changing the gender marker is legally possible. There is no need for a court order. It further said the person’s gender is self-identified, there is no need to consult medical doctors.

LEGABIBO also called on government to develop regulations that specify administrative procedure to change one’s gender marker, and observing self-determination process. Further, the group looks out for government to ensure members of the transgender community are engaged in the development of regulations.

“We call on this Department of Civil and National Registration to ensure that the gender marker change under the National Registration Act is aligned to the Births and Deaths Registry Act to avoid court order.

Meanwhile, a gay man in Lobatse, Moabi Mokenke was recently viciously killed after being sexually violated in the streets of Peleng, shockingly by his neighbourhood folks. The youthful lad, likely to be 29-years old, met his fate on his way home, from the wearisome Di a Bowa taverns situated in the much populated township of Peleng Central.

Continue Reading

News

Khato Civils fights back, dares detractors

23rd November 2020
Khato-civil

CEO of Khato Civils Mongezi Mnyani has come out of the silence and is going all way guns blazing against the company’s adversaries who he said are hell-bent on tarnishing his company’s image and “hard-earned good name”

Speaking to WeekendPost from South Africa, Mnyani said it is now time for him to speak out or act against his detractors. Khato Civils has done several projects across Africa. Khato Civils, a construction company and its affiliate engineering company, South Zambezi have executed a number of world class projects in South Africa, Malawi and now recently here in Botswana.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading

News

UDC petitioners turn to Saleshando

23rd November 2020
Dumelang Saleshando

About ten (10) Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) parliamentary candidates who lost the 2019 general election and petitioned results this week met with UDC Vice President, Dumelang Saleshando to discuss the way forward concerning the quandary that is the legal fees put before them by Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) lawyers.

For a while now, UDC petitioners who are facing the wrath of quizzical sheriffs have demanded audience with UDC National Executive Committee (NEC) but in vain. However after the long wait for a tete-a-tete with the UDC, the petitioners met with Saleshando accompanied by other NEC members including Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang, Reverend Mpho Dibeela and Dennis Alexander.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!