ORAPA: Minister of Health Dorcas Makgato has urged the private sector to augment government’s efforts to fight non-communicable diseases.
Makgato pleaded with the private sector when officiating at the Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) general manager’s charity walk over the weekend.
The minister’s remarks come just a few weeks after authorities in the Central District expressed deep concern about the spiralling cases of non-communicable diseases in the district.
Though she did not mention figures, Makgato said that non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases were on the rise in the country. In fact, Makgato said government coffers were slowly getting depleted as a result of curing spiralling cases of non-communicable diseases. “I plead with the private sector to come up with policies or initiatives on how they can best help the government prevent cases of non-communicable diseases. “The government alone cannot afford to deal with spiralling cases of non-communicable diseases,” she said.
Makgato said it is also impossible for the country to achieve and maintain high health standards without the support of the private sector. She added that currently the ministry is on a crusade to educate members of the public on how they can prevent non-communicable diseases. What is more worrisome is that the cases now affect the youth said the minister.
“We even have a notable number of non-communicable disease cases among teenagers aged around 16-years and young adults in their 20’s,” said Makgato in her address.
The minister stated that the major cause of the non-communicable diseases is poor lifestyles among Batswana. “Members of the public should also understand that health is not only about the availability of infrastructure and service provision but it is also a personal choice. They should learn to maintain healthy lifestyles.”
The GM’s walk started in 2002. Funds generated from the charity walk have been used to assist residents of Boteti in areas such as health, education, sports development and environment.
This year’s proceeds will be used to build an additional ward at Letlhakane Primary Hospital. Meanwhile, late last week the Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture Thapelo Olopeng said that his ministry would soon roll out fitness parks around the country in a bid to promote fitness and healthy living among Batswana. Olopeng said the development would be an effort to help prevent non-communicable diseases among Batswana. The inaugural fitness park was launched in Gaborone early this year.