Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Francistown is sick with few doctors

Francistown public health facilities are faced with a dire shortage of doctors.
The second city has a meager number of 11 doctors and this has led to a doctor patient ratio of 1: 9000 which is way beyond the ratio of 1: 600 recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The shocking revelation was made by the Mayoress of Francistown Sylvia Muzila during a full council meeting last Monday. She said while they have been struggling in the past, the current situation calls for emergency action.
“We have been struggling in the past but this time around it is more serious. This is a cause of concern and the situation needs to be given the urgent attention it deserves. According to our Urban Development Plan 4(UDP4), the implementation of a District Hospital is planned to get started during the current financial year. This means that more doctors will be needed in the city,” she said.
Touching on some of the new developments in the city, she said finally the old Tatitown Primary School which was abandoned, left to decay and has not been utilized for years will finally be leased. The property is owned by the city council. Muzila revealed that they have identified a company, NMCJ International (Pty) Ltd which will lease the school premises at a monthly rental of P55 000. She said the pre-contract preparatory meeting between both parties was held on the 2nd of May 2019.
“The contract is expected to be signed before the end of this month and will last for 25 years. The developer intends to develop a private school for both primary and secondary education, Hospitality College and a hotel as an ancillary use complementing the training. Let us hope that the best comes out of this lease agreement that will be entered into,” said Muzila.
She also said the development of Sunshine Plaza (Marang) Open Space is on-going. She said such development is a new initiative that will help uplift the aesthetics of the eastern side of the city. Muzila revealed that there is a donation agreement between Francistown City Council and Sunshine Enterprises (Pty) Ltd,( a company which owns Sunshine Plaza)  for the development of Plot 16008, situated in Satellite ward.
She said that the intention is to develop the area into a Pop Market with a sporting facility and more parking bays. She said that the donation contract was signed by both the developer and the Ward Development Committee of the area on the 25th March 2019.
“I am advised that the developer will be investing P2million in that area. Currently, the site clearance has been done and council awaits schedule of works from the developer to appreciate the execution plan of the project,” she said.
Among other important issues, the Mayoress said plans were at an advanced stage for Botswana Railways to embark on its mixed use development project in its plot in Francistown. She said the project, which entails a state of the art mall is to start during the current financial year. She said currently the project is at Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) stage.
“The project will incorporate leisure facilities, transport node to decongest the current CBD and space for vendors as well as a pedestrian bridge. From the requests you have made in this council there are also plans to rebuild the current foot bridge. A tender has been floated and if everything goes according to plan, I am informed that the project will kick start in the third quarter of the current financial year,” she said.


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