High Prevalence Of Renal Diseases Reported In Ngami

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Health authorities have informed President Mokgweetsi Masisi of the prevalence of renal related disease in Ngamiland.

This was revealed by Letsholathebe II Memorial Hospital superintendent, Dr Lebogang Mokotedi recently during Masisi’s visit to the hospital.

The authorities are yet to confirm factors behind the prevalence of diseases in the district with the superintendent noting that this therefore calls for a research to be undertaken. Popular dietary patterns in the area such as Tswii (a staple food for people in Ngamiland) as well as excessive beef consumption are however suspected to be the possible leading cause.

“I think it is because of Tswii, but they wouldn’t want to listen to that because in this area it’s an important food dietary intake,” Mokotedi said. She added that the prevalence could also be connected to the fact that people in the area are big meat eaters.

“But we also note that people in this area are really beef eaters and in terms of long term beef eating with the salts and all that ideally there could be correlation,” she noted.

Seeing this prevalence and the challenges brought by it, the superintendent revealed that through the assistance of the Ministry of Health they have outsourced renal services and the appointed company will be based onsite to provide the services. Their expectation is that by the beginning of September this year the hospital should be in a position to offer dialysis.

“Unfortunately we have had patients who needed renal replacements and they had to go as far as Francistown for dialysis,” she highlighted.

Mokotedi noted that providing the renal services at the hospital will not only be of good benefit to the local community but it will also open up for medical tourism as per their desire. She highlighted that there will be no hurdles for tourists suffering from the disease to visit the district which is a tourism attraction.

The superintendent has also revealed that the three dental chairs at the hospital which have not functional have since been procured and will be installed next week, to address challenges faced by patients in need of such services who are currently forced to seek assistance elsewhere.

Furthermore, Mokotedi revealed that they are expecting to start an ophthalmic campaign in November this year to help manage the long lists of patients waiting for cataract surgery.

Among other general challenges faced by the hospital, Dr Mokotedi revealed that they still have outstanding maintenance issues as well as budget limitations. She further indicated that they are also struggling with low staff morale of employees who feel overwhelmed since people are refusing transfers to the district citing distance as the cause. “There are multiple issues here and I am glad that you wanted an opportunity to engage with the staff to find how we can improve that.”

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