President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi’s Covid-19 Task Force has maintained its initial forecast of 50,000 Covid cases in Botswana, they shared this with Members of Parliament (MPs) early last year when the virus first broke in the country.
The task team’s projections was based on a normality that for COVID-19 curve to flatten it will first has to go up the graph. But since they made the estimates, a lot has changed including depletion of test kits as well as the arrival of new Covid-19 variant which scientists say is deadlier than the normal Covid-19.
Currently in Botswana the total number of new deaths related to Covid-19 is 179 according to the Task Force Deputy Chairman, Professor Mosepele Mosepele. This week it was revealed that 932 new positive cases have been recorded bringing the total number of cases to 22165 with 1444 active cases. Botswana has thus far recorded 20 542 recoveries. Globally over 2 million have been buried due to the scourge.
South Africa has recorded the most COVID-19 infections and deaths on the African continent with more than 1.47 million cases and over 45,000 deaths while recoveries stand at 1.33 million to date. Despite the current dynamics, the Task Force mouthpiece, Kago Mmopi says they are unfazed yet the numbers rise each passing day. This is due to the fact that when the virus first broke out there was no baseline data to inform the projections when they were made.
“This resulted in estimates being made using a variety of scenarios on how the pandemic might impact the population and the health care system. The 50,000 estimate was thus made, and is still relevant as the country remains within the projection estimate.” Botswana health care system is in a dire state with the main testing centre, Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital, overwhelmed.
Furthermore, the test kits which are used to detect the virus and carry contact tracing are finished, posing a threat to the people and with possibility of more positive cases soaring without sensing. The Task Team however could not respond to this publication’s enquiry regarding vaccine procurement directing them to Ministry of Health and Wellness as they deal with the management of the disease. The Ministry was yet to respond to the questions at press time.
It is not clear as to when the vaccine will be available for the populace, though Health Minister, Dr. Edwin Dikoloti saying they have already ordered P10 million dose of vaccine. When giving an update last week Thursday, Dikoloti said as part of their broader strategy of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, government has embarked on an initiative to acquire, and quickly deploy safe and secure vaccines for citizens and residents of Botswana.
Dikoloti further alluded that Africa’s continental platform, MTN which is a leading mobile network has donated a total of US$ 25 million worth of vaccines to support the African Union’s (AU) Covid-19 vaccination Programme. “The donation will help secure up to seven (7) million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, which are intended to cater for frontline workers across the continent. As part of the AU, Botswana stands to benefit from these,” he said on national television.
“This program is in line with the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ Expanded Program on immunisation; as well as the Public Health Act 2014, regarding the Prevention of the Spread of immunisable Diseases and their Re-emergence.”
The ministry is however cagey with the timeline as to when the vaccine would have arrived in Botswana. As part of government efforts to curb the virus spread, some sectors of the economy have been shut with movements also restricted through curfew which starts at 8pm until 4am.
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.
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.
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.