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Communities enlisted to craft malaria solutions

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Acting together with communities to fight HIV/AIDS epidemic has led government to positive interventions that have earned the country accolades and saved human lives.
Using the same engagement concept, government is now interrogating new ways to fight malaria, allowing society to take the lead, under a programme dubbed Communities Acting Together to Eliminate Malaria (CATTEM).

Humana People to People Botswana, a non-governmental organisation spearheading the project to drive community competence in assessing their own situation and drive locally owned solutions in fighting malaria, is confident CATTEM will give birth to new solutions to fight the epidemic.

Segametsi Mashumba, Senior Programmes Manager at Humana said CATTEM, the bottom-up response to malaria, is being piloted in the country’s malaria hotspots in six districts – Chobe, Okavango, Ngamiland, Bobirwa , Tutume and Boteti before sustainable solutions are rolled countrywide. “So far we happy with progress and seeing people being eager to address problems they face. A lot of people are coming to discuss the issue,” said Mashumba adding that some of the villages are experiencing high malaria cases as after effects of Cyclone Dineo.

Under the six districts, CATTEM is being piloted in 12 villages – Mabele, Pandamatenga, Seronga, Sekondomboro, Sehithwa , Khwai, Motlhabaneng, Molalatau, Nata, Gweta, Mopipi and Mosu.
Though Humana acknowledges that remoteness of some of the villages picked for the project pose a challenge, Mashumba remains optimistic the concerted efforts of communities will produce results in the fight against malaria.

CATTEM is being piloted under the National Malaria Programme (NMP) financed by Global Fund Project and the Ministry of Health, whose goal is to achieve zero local malaria transmission.
The project feeds into the SADC malaria elimination programme where eight countries – Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, Zambia, Swaziland and South Africa – are participating to eliminate malaria.

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BMC secures beef market in Seychelles

Dikarabo Ramadubu

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Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) will soon start to sell its beef to the Island of Seychelles. Not only will they sell frozen raw meat, but will also send corned beef for trial in the Island.

All this is thanks to last week’s visit by President Mokgweetsi Masisi who included in his delegation executive management of the BMC, led by Chief Executive Officer, Dr Akolang Tombale.
The agreement signed between BMC and two leading Seychelles companies, will see BMC exporting at least 48 tonnes of raw beef to the island possibly from October. The names of the two companies that BMC signed an agreement with are Seychelles Trading Company which is a quasi-government organisation, and Rosebelle Company which is privately owned.

Although both have agreed to trade with each other, BMC cannot start immediately, as they have to wait for the green light from Seychelles companies who still have to apply for import permits in accordance with the law of their republic.

Speaking to The Midweek Sun, Tombale expressed gratitude that they managed to get good business in Seychelles through the assistance of President Masisi. “We are ready to export any time from now. As you know Seychelles is an island surrounded by mountains and cannot produce much if not anything. “They therefore depend much on imports even from as far as Brazil and Europe. Their economy is driven by tourism and they do not differ much with the European market in terms of the demand for beef as most tourists come from Europe and United States.”

Dr. Tombale said they agreed with the two companies that since “we are not sure about the logistics we will start by selling 24tonnes to each company per month, meaning we will be supplying the Island with a total of 48 tonnes per month. The idea is to start small and grow bigger as the people get used to our beef.” BMC has also negotiated to sell small stock meat to Seychelles and successfully negotiated for local chicken farmers to start selling their range chicken to Seychelles as well.

According to Tombale, he negotiated the deal after being approached by local chicken farmers amongst them Kgosi Mosadi Seboko of Balete, who requested that “we should try to find a market for chicken farmers as we go around the world searching for the beef market.” Tombale revealed that for a start both range chickens and small stock will not be supplied in tonnes or large quantities as they will be sold on a trial basis.

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G-west community reunion-walk a resounding success

Keletso Thobega

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Multitudes turned up for the Mosengwaketsi community walk and braai session this past Saturday in Gaborone West. The walk was held in the morning and was preceded by football games and a braai session that went on until late in the evening.

According to the event director Tshenolo Palai, the aim of the community day event was to revive community spirit and address crime and social ills. “The Mosengwaketsi community reunion will be held not only to create a platform to build unity but also address the social ill of passion killings,” he said.

Palai said that they had also invited health stakeholders for a wellness segment because they had realised that there are many health related conditions that affect the quality of people’s lives hence they had joined forces with religious organisations, the business community, neighbourhood outreach policing and other stakeholders in the area to encourage a culture of unity and create dialogue between all the parties.

He noted that they had wanted to create a relaxed environment conducive for different people to engage and strengthen their networks. He said they were also concerned with the high rate of crimes of passion in Botswana and also wanted to create a platform for both men and women to open up on issues that affect them because most people tend to be more relaxed in a social setting.

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