Health Minister, Lesego Motsumi, urged 682 health graduates to “be open-minded; maintain professional ethics and change the attitude that the health care system is incompetent”.
Motsumi was officiating at the graduation of the Affiliated Health Training Institutions trainees at the University of Botswana Stadium on their 13th joint graduation held on Friday.
Motsumi said that the ceremony, which comprised of graduates from six Health Training Institutions from around the country, came at the right time as Botswana is encountering a shortage of human resources in the field of health.
She said this year’s number is an increment compared to last year’s but added that despite this, manpower shortage remains a challenge.
Acknowledging the shortage of manpower, Motsumi said her ministry “has challenges, including human resources in lectures and we are doing everything to overcome this challenge”.
She stated that the MoH has spearheaded some development and renovations of current health institutions so as to admit about 1 366 students annually.
“The upcoming health facility at UB will help in alleviating this problem,” she stated.
Addressing the graduates, Motsumi advised them to serve with commitment, passion and to respect their customers, bearing in mind that the community looks up to them. She promised them that, “as the government, we will find ways to improve your working conditions and you all should know that it is underpinned by patience and hard work”.
Among the many graduates who owned the day, were, as usual, a few outstanding students who got away with high marks, with 25 distinctions from different health institutions.
A few got special awards for outstanding performances in Theory and practice, among them Betty Isaac, from Molepolole IHS who got the award for Best Student in Theory and Practice and in Basic Diploma In General Nursing.
Of the 682 graduates, 357 were graduating in Basic Diploma In General Nursing, which was the highest number and 8 were graduating in Dentistry which was the lowest number.
Reverend J. Phale of the Dutch Reformed Church told the graduates that “you are the light of this nation. Go be kind, humble and patient as you do your job”.
Gofenyaone Kelotshegetse, one of the graduates said he was delighted that finally his hard work of three years had paid off.
“I’m proud that I now have a job after those long sleepless nights; that is one of the good things about nursing, you don’t have to wait for years to get a job.”