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Govt avail P2billion to fight Corona virus

As the fight against Corona Virus (COVID-19) continues to intensify, the government of Botswana has set aside P2 billion to be used in prevention of the deadly virus, Vice President Slumber Tsogwane has revealed.

Tsogwane said this, following the launch of the COVID-19 Relief Fund this week. The fund according to Minister of Presidential Affairs Governance and Public Administration Kabo Morwaeng, “will assist to mitigate the impact of COVID 19.” The establishment of the fund is to allow everyone to make financial contributions towards the fight against the spread of the virus.

There have been reports that the government is too ‘broke’ to fight the virus, but Tsogwane says they are ready.  “We are not broke but we do not have money,” he said ambiguously. “In the fight against this, we had to engage the finance ministry and see available funds where we can take to patch and we managed to source P2 billion to fight the virus. We did this by stopping some of the projects,” Tsogwane said.

By far Botswana is still a Corona virus green zone and the government is determined to maintain the posture hence sourcing funds where possible to ensure the status quo remains.  “The most important thing is to prevent this virus. It should not spread because of our irresponsibility. It does not select if you are rich or poor, it infects everyone and with our small population we could be wiped out,” Tsogwane warned.

With this, a Public Health Specialist from the Ministry of Health and Wellness Mmakgomo Raesima has disclosed that up to date they have sent 160 samples for confirmation. “We do not have a confirmed case yet. We have sent out 160 samples, we are expecting 76 of those to be verified but all have been negative,” Raesima said. Raesima said the Ministry of Health is awaiting accreditation from the World Health Organisation (WHO) to carry out tests and not send them to South Africa for verification.

From the ministry, she says they have devised four public health measures that are aimed at preventing the virus which are; quarantine, isolation, social distancing and community lockdown. Apart from the health ministry, other ministries have also came up with measures to be implemented in keeping the disease at bay.

“Gyms, arcade, saloons and liquor outlets will be closed from this Saturday because that is where people meet and can spread the virus. We have also agreed to have trade flow with South Africa going but we have changed protocols at borders to ensure that everyone  is protected,” Minister of Trade and Investment Peggy Serame said on Thursday. Her counterpart from Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs Anna Mokgethi has also come up with modifications.

“We will not be availing visas to anyone. No foreigners will be allowed to enter in Botswana, only locals and those with resident and work permits. Four airports are still running and a number of borders are still open for people to enter through,” she told pastors on Thursday morning updating them on how her Ministry is fighting the disease. Botswana is not ruling possibilities of a lockdown but that will be effected only if the presidential task team advise for that or the situation gets out of hand. As at Thursday this week, 492,085 cases had been registered with 22,176 deaths recorded. Meanwhile 118,022 recovered. In Africa, there are over 2600 cases with 29 deaths.


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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