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No flu shot for Botswana yet – Minister Kwape

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The Minister of Health and Wellness Lemogang Kwape says they are not sure when Batswana will start getting free influenza shots because orders placed at the manufacturer have not arrived yet.

This follows the announcement he recently made that government has taken a decision to offer free influenza shots to Batswana amid the Covid-19 pandemic. He had at the time mentioned that the vaccines were to be administered ahead of the winter season which is now fast approaching. Temperatures have begun dropping with nights and evenings a bit colder, this means there are high chances of some starting  to cough, sneeze and have runny noses.

This week, without mentioning exactly where Botswana is buying the vaccines, Minister Kwapw said they placed orders outside the country  but because there is high demand of the vaccines world-wide, Botswana is forced into a long line of those awaiting the vaccine.

“Other countries have also placed orders so we cannot skip the line but patiently wait for the manufacturer to deliver. It should be noted however that once here, priority will be given to the most vulnerable such as the elderly and children,” he said.

The minister refrained from mentioning quantities and figures but said they are prepared to buy as much as possible for the nation. Asked if there was a plan already in place on how the vaccines will be administered once here, Kwape preferred to let that bridge be crossed while at it.

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Women challenged to step-up food production

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National Development Bank CEO, Lorato Morapedi has challenged women to take up more agribusiness ventures to cut down on the country’s food import bill.
With an annual P7 billion food import bill hanging over the country, Morapedi said women can significantly trim it down. “We need to get out of our comfort zones, let’s open our eyes and seize the opportunities,” said Morapedi, adding that women need to work in groups.
She emphasized that women should leverage on collective expertise found in clusters to grow the country’s food production sector.
“Grab the opportunities that exist with the food value chain,” she said, citing that women have been hard-hit by COVID-19 in their endeavors to put food on the table.
She further implored women not to shy away from finance development institutions (FDIs) to finance their projects. Morapedi bemoaned that a handful people are willing to go into food production despite the high import food bill that the country faces.
Very few people are doing food production; people are lazy to go into food production,” said Morapedi. She also highlighted that the country’s major supplier, South Africa is also not coping as COVID-19 challenges unravel.
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Sun ePaper Wednesday 05 August 2020

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