Despite denials by government that the ongoing public workers strike has had an impact in the provision of services in the country, the Botswana Red Cross Society programme officer, Titus Makosha, says that they have deployed a 100 volunteers at health facilities in Gaborone.
Makosha said the decision was made after assessing Gaborone’s health facilities and realized that there was a need for the Society to help in line with their mandate to alleviate human suffering through provision of services to the most vulnerable.
Currently, he said that they have volunteers helping mostly at Gaborone’s Princess Marina and Extension Two Clinics in the provision of hygiene services, such as sweeping and cleaning of hallways, bathrooms, toilets and making beds for patients.
On whether their helping will not be seen as meddling in affairs that do not affect them, Makosha said that they have reached some form of agreement with the concerned parties and were allowed to help.
Though they are currently providing such services only in Gaborone, he said that they plan to help wherever their help is required around the country.
“We are ready to go and assist wherever we are called in the country and we are liaising with our volunteers to see if help is needed in the areas where they are,” he said.
Besides the provision of hygienic services, he said they can also carry out critical duties, such as packing medicines, weighing and feeding patients, laundry and cooking.
He admitted that this was the first time they have deployed their volunteers to do such work but declined to say if this does not undermine the purpose of the strike.