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Spine care clinic overdue

The Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Madigele announced this week at the third Spine Care International Conference in Gaborone that his ministry will open a Spine Care Clinic at Princess Marina Referral Hospital this financial year.

Madigele explained that the opening of the clinic is meant to augment the already existing orthopaedic services as well as improve health outcomes. This is a welcome development by government in its effort to improve the country's health care services.

Botswana is one of those countries with a high number of patients with spinal cord injuries from road accidents, falls, domestic violence, general violence and some from diseases.

Looking at the significant number of people in the country, who are in need of spine care services on a daily basis, it was important that the government made such a decision to improve the health outcomes.

It is worth noting that these people experience a lot of changes to their physical and psychological health as well as general quality of life. As the minister said, without proper spine care, such patients would experience complications such as pressure wounds, bladder and bowel dysfunction, chronic pain, joint and muscle problems and premature mortality in some instances. The person in pain does not only feel the impact of that. But those around him or her and the country’s economy also feel it, as skilled manpower is lost, whilst families lose breadwinners.

By offering such care services at

Marina, it would also save government some money on medical transfers to South African hospitals for treatment.  The spine care clinic, which was first opened in Mahalapye Sub-district, has been overwhelmed by the number of patients they receive who have sustained injuries from road accidents along the A1 Road. This would now relieve that pressure. 

Back and neck problems are common, and often require a series of well-planned assessments and investigations to make an accurate diagnosis.  Effective treatment is best done in a ‘team’ environment, utilising the most appropriate combination of specialists and approaches for your particular situation.

There is no doubt that by establishing such a clinic at Marina, the government has the right staff and equipment to carry out such services. One must also commend the partnership between the ministry and World Spine Care, which would assist in areas where the government is lacking such as skills transfer on the understanding and management and care of spinal disorders. It is now time for the programme to be rolled out to other parts of the country. 

Today’s thought 

“Medicine is about disease and what makes people die. Chiropractic is about life and what makes people live.” 

 – B. J. Palmer




Ke a phantsha

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