TONOTA: The Minister of Health and Wellness Edwin Dikoloti has pleaded with the private sector to help the government in building health facilities across the country.
He was speaking during the official opening of Lab Care Diagnostics Health Care Centre in Tonota village over the weekend.
Lab Care Diagnostics Health Care Centre is a privately owned health facility which offers a wide range of diagnostics and screening tests that include among others, Covid 19 testing, Clinical Chemistry, Serology, DNA testing, Fertility testing, HIV monitoring, Diabetes, Antenatal care tests and cancer screening. It has a private clinic which also has a dentistry.
Dikoloti emphasized that the government cannot afford to be the sole provider of health facilities in all areas of the country.
“We need the private sector to play a role. We believe that if more and more private sector companies come to the party as has the Lab Care Diagnostic Health Care Centre, we will achieve our goal of having health services closer to the people, including specialist health care services like the ones offered by these company,” he said.
The minister commended the company for filling a gap in health care provision as most of the services it offers are only found in cities and big towns. He said the health facility will not only benefit Tonota village, but even villages in its vicinity. He commended the company for building such a facility at a time when the country was battling the COVID 19 pandemic. He further said the facility will help the already stretched public health facilities in Tonota and surrounding areas.
“I therefore wish them the best in this noble journey of providing health care services to our people in the middle of a pandemic that has devastating effects on human lives and health facilities,” said Minister Dikoloti.
Narrating the journey of how she started the company started, the Director and owner of Lab Care Diagnostics Health Care centre Vongai Tenderera Makovore said she first arrived in the country from Zimbabwe in 2004 after being offered a job at the Ministry of Health and Wellness. She was employed as a Medical Scientific Officer at Bamalete Lutheran Hospital in Ramotswa. She then worked for several other organizations such as the American Embassy. Makovore said during her tenure at the American Embassy she contributed immensely in research that was aimed at improving health care for Botswana particularly in HIV management.
“Part of my roles as a Laboratory Technical advisor included mentoring the Botswana Ministry of Health Laboratories in the implementation of quality management systems. It was during this tour of duty that I noticed a gap in service provision particularly in the villages,” she said.
Makovore said as a Medical Laboratory Scientist by profession and her husband being an investor, they decided to invest in a Private Medical Laboratory in Tonota village with a sole aim of bringing diagnostic services closer to the people particularly that most of such services are found in towns and cities.