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"Gabs hosts inaugural international health expo a success"

STAFF WRITER
Prof Sheila Tlou and other participants at the health expo
Thousands of Gaborone residents last week thronged the Main Mall to attend the Gaborone International Health Expo (GIHE).

This inaugural activity, that due to popular demand will occur annually, is an initiative that embraces government’s pronouncement to make the country the preferred destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and expos.

It was a two-day event aimed to create a one-stop health hub where all stakeholders in the health sector come together under one roof to showcase, network and interact with consumers of health products and services.

It was also aimed to stimulate conversation on the health sector’s readiness for the 4th Industrial Revolution and assert Botswana’s ambition as a destination of choice for health tourism. The 2019 edition of the GIHE was held under the theme: “Embracing the 4th Industrial Revolution to advance Healthcare in Botswana”.

Dr William Mooketsi Baratedi from the University Of Botswana School Of Nursing Education officiated at the expo. He emphasised the importance of such an event on individuals and the nation at large. He also commended one of the sponsors, Kalafhi Medical Centre, on the initiative to carry out health screenings to members of the public as many people were dying because of non-communicable diseases. Baraedi further said that Batswana cannot be ready for the 4th Industrial Revolution if the nation is not healthy or fit. In her remarks, founder, Managing Director and practicing surgeon at Kalafhi Medical Centre Dr. Matlhogonolo Mongwa expressed optimism about the future of health in the 4th Industrial Revolution and commented on how technology has revolutionised medicine citing an example of non-invasive surgeries.

“At Kalafhi we are firm believers in Preventative health care as it better and cheaper than cure… Therefore it was imperative for us to be a part of and to sponsor this event. We saw it as a great opportunity to do all that we live by and more. In the end we only regret the chances we did not take and the missed opportunities” Mongwa said.

The expo had exhibitors from a wide range of

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the medical fields. As part of their corporate social investment, Kalafhi Medical Centre supported the event with P100, 000. The biggest medical health scheme in the country Botswana Public Officers Medical Aid Scheme (BPOMAS) was also part of sponsors. Other sponsors and partners include Yarona FM, 03 Beverages (Live Pure), Ideal Deals and Virgin Active.

The event coordinators, Amble Promotions expressed delight at the success of the event. Kabelo Rapinyana of Amble Promotions said as an inaugural event the expo exceeded their expectations.

“It was very heartwarming to see Batswana taking first steps in efforts to improve their health. We at Amble Promotions want to take this kind of expo to all Batswana across the country. The important thing is that through this expo, medical services were brought to the people, hence increased interest in doing health checks,” Rapinyana said.

The expo provided a rich menu of various health services. Exhibitors included; Smile Time Dental Care – a dental clinic based at shop 104 Molapo Crossing, Clinicare Pharmacy – a pharmacy located at Molapo Crossing which specialises in mobility devices like wheelchairs in addition to the many drugs and medicines they sell.

Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) occupied the outside section of the venue where a lot of people interacted with them to learn about how the fund works. Other exhibitors included Phemowell located in CDB, University of Botswana School of Nursing, ACS life style wellness centre, Art Without Limits (AWIL) who provided staging and the Health Directly Botswana. 

The second day of the Health Expo introduced an educational and thought-provoking penal discussions moderated by Tumisang Mothei of Duma FM and Samson Setumo of Fire Brand. Former Health Minister Professor Sheila Tlou also graced the expo.

She commended the organisers of the event for the great and bold initiative and promised to use her international networks to invite participants and exhibitors to the 2020 instalment of the Health Expo.



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