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Okavango Delta patients risk death

Staff Writer
Members of the parliamentary health committee were over the weekend on tour of the Vumbura camp in the Okavango Delta managed by Okavango Wilderness Safaris.

They acquainted themselves with proposed and existing programmes and projects at government, private and non-governmental organisations relating to health issues.
They are also out to familiarise themselves with policies and laws that govern health care systems while at the same time interacting with communities to know what is happening around them.

The four member committee that toured the delta included committee chairman, Kgatleng West MP Rakwadi Modipane, MP's Vister Moruti, Mmoloki Raletobana, Filbert Nagafela of Okavango, Kweneng South East and Letlhakeng West constituencies respectively.

In his welcome remarks at the camp, Modipane said parliament has in the past received complaints that tour operators do not offer employees all that is entitled to them regarding health issues, thus making them feels isolated and unwanted.

He said upon completion of their tour, they will be placed in a better position to submit their report to parliament and decide on what steps to take as some of the issues need immediate attention.

 One of the employees at the camp, Daniel Kenakemo told the MP's that they have long made a proposal that a permanent structure be built at or near the camp where a nurse will be on duty full time to attend to their day to day needs though they have never received any positive response.

He said it always takes them a long time to receive medical attention because they have to be flown from the Delta to Maun at a cost of P215.00 which is deducted from their meagre monthly salary of P700.00.

He said the situation is unbearable for expectant mothers who have to

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see the doctor more often because they can't afford the air fares. Some decried the fact that they lack public education, more especially on HIV issues, such that a good number of them died.
Members of parliament were also told of a nurse employed by delta managers who prescribes medication and injectables telephonically from her office in Maun.

The employees said as a result, their lives are at risk because it is their managers who have had to inject them following the instruction from the nurse and wondered why that nurse can not be stationed at one of their camps which both have a population of plus minus 160.

Okavango Wilderness also runs little Vumbura Camp. The MP's were also briefed on how the North West District Council health team had in most cases failed to take services to the people because of poor accessibility to some areas in the delta because the only modes of transport are by use of boats and light planes.

Okavango MP, Vister Moruti said he was happy because the atmosphere at the camp seems to have changed dramatically compared to the past months when he paid a similar visit with the parliamentary labour committee.

He said that the fact that complaints still arise is an indication that there is still a mile to travel. "I think management should meet and talk about these very small things. Some of them are very minor that they need to be solved in-house. Please let your employees understand your policies and please work hard on improving your employer- employee relations," he said

 



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