Former National team and Gaborone United (GU) player, Patrick Zibochwa, has urged teams to improve their Medic teams.
Zibochwa said that it is imperative for different clubs to have equipped medic teams who should always be present when their teams play, be it at training or during games. He said the presence of an expert when a player sustains an injury is crucial because he is attended to immediately.
Zibochwa also revealed that it is important for medic teams to see first hand how an injury was sustained as this can speed up the recuperation process. Delayed expert interventions can be costly and can prolong the healing process. Zibochwa decried the state of clubs’ medic teams describing them as being too poorly resourced to meet demands. He cited the absence of some of the basic medicines, like the numbing spray, nasal detector. Numbing spray cuts pain impulses to the brain allowing the player to carry on with play while nasal detector detects internal bleeding for head injuries.
Some players are also in the habit of consulting traditional doctors. It is believed that these traditional doctors discourage players from using modern medicines as this would prevent heeling from their traditional prescriptions. Zibochwa also touched on the nutrition aspect, saying that teams should hire Nutritionists. He said that sportsmen require specialized diet, to prevent fatigue and, in the long, help a player to prolong his carrier.
Zibochwa cited Gabriel Bokhutlo whom he said needs a diet that to build his physic. “The presence of a nutritionist helps the continual assessment and monitoring of players’ nutritional needs as per the demands of their trade; their absence can prematurely absorb players in fatigue and result in the wasting of muscles,” he said.
He also warned players to desist from alcohol as it has adverse effects on players’ careers. He said that local players are in the habit of taking alcohol after training or after games under the misguided impression that they are quenching thirst. He explained that Alcohol dehydrates their bodies and it leads to water loss through excessive excretion. He added that alcohol tempers with the growth hormone and even inhibits the growth of muscles. Alcohol also tempers with the players energy and can lead to players easily tiring during the games.
Zibochwa called on the Botswana Football Association to utilize experts in the field and come up with a program that would be disseminated to the teams. Already, this season has seen a spate of life threatening injuries receiving sloppy treatments. The game in mind is the Gaborone derby between Township Rollers and GU. Rollers goalkeeper, Anthony Matengu, suffered a head injury and lost consciousness, and it took ages for the player to be taken to hospital. As if that was not enough, there was neither an ambulance nor a stretcher to carry the player. It was only after Zibochwa went beyond rivalry and helped the rollers player even though he is a GU official. One supporter even volunteered to carry the player to the hospital.
Zibochwa has attended FIFA conducted courses on first aid and treatment of football injuries and currently is an employee at the Ministry of Health.