Horrors of healthcare in Botswana

News of negligence around most hospitals and the country's other health facilities across the length and breadth of Botswana are matters of serious concern.

Headlines like 'Ministry of Health pays patient P1 million for negligence,' 'Patient sues MoH for millions for negligence,' and so on are common in the local media. In many of these incidents, an expectant mother would have informed nurses on duty that she had broken her water and therefore that delivery was imminent.Regrettably, it has become typical of many of our nation's supposed Nightingales - most of whom are still of the so-called gentler sex - to simply look the other way or even send such a wretched woman away.Too bad if you were deceived by the white and navy-blue uniform to expect kindness for your mother, aunt or sister, or hoped for going the extra mile. This is the Republic of Botswana, my friend, and such quaint qualities have long been relegated to history. While not all nurses get up to this wickedness, the artful nonchalance and practised negligence is done in the line of duty and under the special oath that nurses take upon qualification as angels of mercy that is renewable every year.

Forget about qualms of conscience because that too died a long time ago at the very same health facilities that have become centres of horror for those in need of medical attention, especially nursing care. Deaths of newborns, delivery of stillbirths, miscarriages, asphyxiations due to strangulation by umbilical cords, deaths of mothers in the course of delivering their babies, the last bubbles of life being throttled out in the very process of what should be the arrival of a bundle of joy.  Due to such, the hardened - even criminal - attitudes of our nurses have come to typify healthcare in 21st Century Botswana.  Of course, the guilty nurse will not pay a thebe should a legal suit ensue and result in a hefty award. The government is not saying, but it is common knowledge that mounds of taxpayers' money are wasted in this manner because they could never replace what is beyond price or erase the pain of unnecessary bereavement - the lives of new babies and/or their mothers.

Editor's Comment
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This period, running from May 20 to 31 2024, is crucial for those who have not yet registered to vote. This announcement comes in response to a significant shortfall in registered voters following the recent registration period. As it stands, only 62% of the target number of voters registered, leaving a considerable gap.With Botswana's general elections scheduled for October, every eligible citizen needs to register and exercise their...

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