Botswana News

Botswana: Emergency Preparedness Critical for Containment

Gaborone — Health and wellness minister Dr Edwin Dikoloti has stressed the importance of reinforcing emergency preparedness structures and response at all levels through a well-established public health emergency operation center.

He was speaking in Gaborone yesterday at the launch of the strengthening of COVID-19 and public health emergency response in Botswana project funded by the European Union (EU) to the tune of around P14 million (1 million Euros).

The project is the result of identification of gaps by the World Health Organization in Botswana’s emergency preparedness, detection and response.

Minister Dikoloti said strengthening of public health emergency could only be achieved through prompt detection of potential outbreaks, timely verification and undertaking of appropriate measures to contain outbreaks at the source.

He said the project, which targeted COVID-19 prevention and control with the aim of strengthening epidemic preparedness and response, was intended to reduce morbidity and mortality and other epidemic-prone diseases in high risk areas.

“Furthermore, the project hopes to support the national and district levels to scale up early warning disease surveillance in the country with a focus on setting up sentinel sites for influenza-like illnesses and severe acute respiratory infections,” he said.

Dr Dikoloti expressed profound gratitude to the EU and WHO for extending assistance to Botswana in the war against COVID-19.