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SKMTH wraps up roadshow phase one

Botswana’s first quaternary hospital, Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital (SKMTH), this week wrapped up phase one of its one-month long national roadshow.

The purpose of the roadshow is to raise awareness about the hospital’s mandate, and offer complimentary health screenings of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). The roadshow started late last month with the official launch in Francistown at the Monarch Kgotla, followed by a roadshow at the Francistown bus rank.

It then proceeded to Selibe Phikwe, where stakeholders were hosted for a Kgotla meeting at Kagiso Kgotla and a similar activity (roadshow) at the Main Mall. SKMTH roadshow team then ensued to Serowe, Palapye and enfolded up phase one with Mahalapye.

SKMTH is a 100% government owned hospital which has since been given a green light to operate as a private hospital. This means that acquiring services at the hospital comes with a price. However, the pricing has been put in a way that is affordable for every client.

It has been communicated that SKMTH receives clients who have been referred by major hospitals from all district health posts, referred by District Health Management Teams (DHMTs). The hospital has reiterated its commitment to work with stakeholders such as DHMTs to deliver health services that are of high value.

Clients who have been referred by government from these hospitals are paid for by government, while those with medical aids or the potential to settle their bills are also allowed to do so.

When speaking in an interview with this publication, Corporate Communication and Public Relations Manager, Selwana Pilatwe, said SKMTH embarked on this roadshow to engage stakeholders on the hospital mandate, update them on commissioning plan and solicit feedback and buy in.

“SKMTH believes firmly in collaborative efforts for sustainable patient centered care. The hospital is Batswana’s pride and job. They love the hospital and are looking forward to improved health outcomes, trained and competent health professionals, informed health policies and programmes as a result of biomedical research that the hospital is mandated to carry out. It has truly been heartwarming to engage with stakeholders.”

When quizzed to share the successes of the roadshow thus far, Pilatwe said the numbers reached were quite impressive. This is quite a positive considering that most people wouldn’t want to sit and hear about health issues, especially in Botswana.

Pilatwe said that the engagements were fruitful as many of Kgotla attendees were able to ask questions and demand for clarification in certain issues.

“A significant number of our stakeholders got tested for NCDs. Altogether, the roadshow was a success and I am confident that stakeholders now know that SKMTH is a government owned hospital, licensed to operate as a parastatal and that it receives referrals from district hospitals. An appreciation of fee payment was also achieved and funders, including government pay for services. There are also walk ins which are permitted in cases of emergency.”

As the roadshow team wait to embark on the second phase of the project, it will now evaluate and report on phase one, looking at what it managed to achieve, where there is need for improvement and the way forward.

“What will happen next is to embark on phase two of the project, which will be the last one. We will be doing Maun, Ghanzi, Tsabong, Jwaneng, Kanye, Lobatse and finally Gaborone. By that, we would have covered most of the country,” said Pilatwe.

She says SKMTH has a robust commissioning plan that is implemented in phases in response to health care needs. “Stakeholders will duly be informed when next suite of services will be opened.”

Meanwhile, over three hundred (374) clients tested for NCDs in this roadshow in five places (Francistown, Selibe Phikwe, Serowe, Palapye, Mahalapye).

In Francistown, seventy-three (73) tested, while in Selibe Phikwe, the number recorded was eighty-four (84). Coming as a surprise though, Serowe recorded the lowest number being forty (40), while in Palapye eighty-five (85) clients tested for NCDs. Wrapping up the roadshow in style, Mahalapye recorded the highest number of people who tested for NCDs, clocking ninety-two (92) clients.

It is worth noting that this not indicative of the numbers that attended Kgotla meetings, but those who took it upon themselves to voluntarily test for NCDs. With this number, a few of clients were found with NCDs, SKMTH says it will continue monitor their situation, doing so in collaboration with DHMTs.

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BODANSA strikes gold with a handsome P45K windfall from Turnstar Holdings

27th February 2024

The Botswana DanceSport Association (BODANSA) has been graced with a financial boon of P45,000 courtesy of Turnstar Holdings. This generous endowment is earmarked for the illustrious Botswana International Dance Sport Grand Prix Championships, which are scheduled to animate Gaborone from Friday to Saturday.

At a media engagement held early today, BODANSA’s Marketing Maestro, Tiro Ntwayagae, shared that Turnstar Holdings Limited has bestowed a gift of P45,000 towards the grand spectacle.

“We are thrilled to announce that this backing will enable us to orchestrate a cultural soirée at the Game City Marque locale, a night brimming with cultural fervor set for March 1, 2024, from 6pm to the stroke of midnight.

This enchanting space will also serve as the battleground for the preliminaries of traditional dance ensembles—spanning the rhythmically rich Setapa to the euphoric beats of Sebirwa, the spirited Seperu, the heavenly Hosana, and more—in a competition folded into the Traditional Dance Groups Category. The ensemble that dances into the judges’ hearts will clinch a grand prize of P10,000,” elaborated Ntwayagae.

He further illuminated that the cultural eve would not only celebrate traditional melodies but also the fresh beats of contemporary dance variants including Hip Hop, Sbujwa, Amapiano, among others, in a dazzling display of modern dance mastery.

Moreover, these championships carry the prestigious recognition by the World DanceSport Federation as a qualifying round for the Breakdance category for the Paris 2024 Olympics. “This is a monumental opportunity for athletes to leap towards their Olympic dreams during one of the penultimate qualifiers,” underscored Ntwayagae.

Looking ahead to March 2, 2024, the festivities will propel into the University of Botswana Indoor Sports Arena for the championship’s climactic showdowns encompassing Breakdance, Latin, and Ballroom Dancing.


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Government of Botswana yet to sign, ratify the UN-CRPD

26th February 2024

In Botswana, a beacon of democracy in Africa, the right to participate in the political discourse is a cornerstone of its societal structure. It’s an avenue through which citizens shape the rules and systems that govern their everyday lives. Despite this, recent studies indicate that Individuals with Disabilities (IWDs) are notably absent from political dialogues and face substantial hurdles in exercising their democratic freedoms.

Research within the nation has uncovered that IWDs encounter difficulties in engaging fully with the political process, with a pronounced gap in activities beyond mere voting. The call for environments that are both accessible and welcoming to IWDs is loud, with one participant, who has a physical disability, spotlighting the absence of ramps at voting venues and the dire need for enhanced support to facilitate equitable involvement in the electoral process.

The challenges highlighted by the study participants pinpoint the structural and social obstacles that deter IWDs from participating wholly in democracy. The inaccessibility of voting facilities and the lack of special accommodations for people with disabilities are critical barriers. Those with more significant or intellectual disabilities face even steeper challenges, often feeling marginalized and detached from political engagement.

To surmount these obstacles, there is an urgent appeal for Botswana to stride towards more inclusive and accessible political stages for IWDs. This necessitates a committed effort from both the government and relevant entities to enforce laws and policies that protect the rights of IWDs to partake in the political framework. Enhancing awareness and understanding of the political landscape among IWDs, alongside integrating inclusive practices within political entities and governmental bodies, is crucial.

By dismantling these barriers and nurturing an inclusive political environment, Botswana can live up to its democratic ideals, ensuring every citizen, regardless of ability, can have a substantive stake in the country’s political future.



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People with Disabilities Face Barriers to Political Participation in Botswana

23rd February 2024

Individuals challenged by disabilities encounter formidable obstacles when endeavoring to partake in political processes within the context of Botswana. Political involvement, a cornerstone of democratic governance, empowers citizens to shape the legislative landscape that impacts their daily existence. Despite Botswana’s reputation for upholding democratic ideals, recent insights unveil a troubling reality – those with disabilities find themselves marginalized in the realm of politics, contending with substantial barriers obstructing the exercise of their democratic liberties.

A recent inquiry in Botswana unveiled a panorama where individuals with disabilities confront hurdles in navigating the political arena, their involvement often restricted to the basic act of voting. Voices emerged from the study, underscoring the critical necessity of fostering environments that are accessible and welcoming, affording individuals with disabilities the active engagement they rightfully deserve in political processes. Noteworthy was the account of a participant grappling with physical impairments, shedding light on the glaring absence of ramps at polling stations and the urgent call for enhanced support mechanisms to ensure an equitable electoral participation.

The echoes reverberating from these narratives serve as poignant reminders of the entrenched obstacles impeding the full integration of individuals with disabilities into the democratic tapestry. The inaccessibility of polling stations and the glaring absence of provisions tailored to the needs of persons with disabilities loom large as formidable barricades to their political engagement. Particularly pronounced is the plight of those grappling with severe impairments and intellectual challenges, who face even steeper hurdles in seizing political participation opportunities, often grappling with feelings of isolation and exclusion from the political discourse.

Calls for decisive action cascade forth, urging the establishment of more inclusive and accessible political ecosystems that embrace individuals with disabilities in Botswana. Government bodies and concerned stakeholders are urged to prioritize the enactment of laws and policies designed to safeguard the political rights of individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, initiatives geared towards enhancing awareness and education on political processes and rights for this segment of society must be spearheaded, alongside the adoption of inclusive measures within political institutions and party structures.

By dismantling these barriers and nurturing a political landscape that is truly inclusive, Botswana can earnestly uphold its democratic ethos and afford every citizen, including those with disabilities, a substantive opportunity to partake in the political fabric of the nation.



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