Of recent there has been a crisis in oxygen supply in Botswana, this has resulted in limited intake by the health facilities, and deterioration of health to those in need of oxygen, especially those with COVID-19 complications.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness has recently assured the nation that the crisis is being resolved. “The country has recently been experiencing oxygen supply shortages in health facilities, which has had a negative impact on hospital admissions for COVID-19 patients. It is however, worth noting that the oxygen generation capacity challenges recently experienced at Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital (SKMTH) and other health facilities are being resolved. A 25-ton oxygen tank was installed at SKMTH last week. As a result of this development, SKMTH and other facilities will be able to increase COVID-19 hospitalization admissions.” Christopher Nyanga revealed.
In addition to the above, Nyanga stated that the ministry has issued a tender for the supply of oxygen as well as an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the Oxygen Generation Plant. Oxygen concentrators which will be used at home by patients in need, are being availed in health facilities.
“In view of the escalating disease burden, and shortage of personnel, the ministry has among others, taken a decision to increase health care workers by recruiting 50 additional nurses and health care auxiliaries to mitigate the challenge at SKMTH. The situation will remain closely monitored and appropriate interventions and measures will be employed accordingly. The country is making progress with regards to vaccination and is now in Phase two of its vaccination program. To date, more than 200, 000 people in Botswana have received their first dose while nearly 120, 000 are fully vaccinated.” Nyanga proclaimed.
The above numbers means roughly twenty-five percent (25%) of the eligible population has received a vaccine. This means that about a million (1 million) are yet to be vaccinated. That is despite the reports that there is a shortage of Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) vaccines.