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Nurses are key to achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, Minister of Health, Dr John Seakgosing has said.

Officiating at Botswana Nurses Day and Awards ceremony in Molepolole on June 10, Dr Seakgosing said nurses were the only health professionals accessible to many people in their lifetime. “So nurses are particularly well placed and often the most innovative in reaching under served and disadvantaged populations,” he said.

He noted that nurses were educated to understand the complex nature of maintaining health and wellness and the impact of psychosocial and socio-economic factors such as poverty. Minister Seakgosing stated that Botswana had made a lot of progress in improving maternal health.

“We continue to register a significant number of people who seek our services to be delivered by health professionals,” he said, adding that the situation in Botswana gave no room for complacency. As a result, nurses were expected by the public to lead in the fight against many diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria as well as child and maternal health.

In recognition to the contribution made by nurses to the health care and the many challenges they were facing, Minister Seakgosing said his ministry had taken a bold step to come up with a better package that sought to address these realities.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) country representative, Ms Aisha Camara-Drammeh said her organisation shared sentiments that indeed the nursing profession deserved a constant reassurance that they were needed more than ever.

She said Botswana had improved from World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate of 326 per 100 000 live births in 1990s to 189 per 100 000 live births today.

She however noted that there was need to step up efforts to reach the target of 82 per 100 000 live births by 2015. She also commended Botswana saying it was among African countries with the lowest maternal mortality rate while a significant number of African countries were reporting range of 400 to 1000 per 100 000 live births.

Chairperson of Botswana Retired Nurses Society, Ms Joyce Tamocha appealed to nurses to have a “we feeling” , urging them to always work as a team since that characterised the nursing profession in the olden days.

Awards were bestowed on deserving nurses. These were in the categories of clinical excellence, long service and good conduct, teaching excellence  and meritorious service . ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Lindi Morwaeng

Location : Molepolole

Event : Botswana Nurses Day and Awards ceremony

Date : Jun 13 Thu,2013