November 2015 DailyNews; President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama says the government continues to strive to ensure that high quality health services are accessible and affordable for all in a sustainable manner.
Speaking during the State-of -the-Nation Address on Monday, he said the health services were undergoing a transformation that focuses on the delivery of quality care that was financially sustainable which incorporates a revitalisation of primary health care as well as increased private sector participation.
He said as part of the Economic Stimulus Programme the government intends to upgrade 92 health facilities while continuing to upgrade hospitals, adding that the plan was to prioritise the construction of 534 additional staff housing.
President Khama said since 2014 nine more facilities have expanded operation hours bringing the total number to 48.
He said that in an effort to improve health care delivery they have decentralised some decision making processes to the districts such as the district drug emergency and laboratory votes to procure medicines and supplies.
He said over the past five years the health sector has performed well on the health related Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) through comprehensively funded programmes and interventions.
President Khama said Botswana was on track to achieving the MDG 4 target of reducing infant and under five mortality.
He said the government continues to introduce immunisation campaigns such as the recent national roll out of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) for girls to prevent cervical cancer. He stated that plans were also underway to introduce inactivated Polio vaccine which was safer and eliminates the risk from earlier vaccines which he said would be followed by the introduction of Measles Rubella Vaccines in 2016.
President Khama said the child mortality rate has likewise been reduced from 76/1 000 live births to 28/1 000 live births in 2007 and 2011 respectively, and that it was projected to reach 21/1 000 live births by the end of 2015.
He said Botswana has made strides in the prevention and management of major communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS malaria and TB.