Botswana And Unesco 18th Edition

nal deaths in recent years. The Under-Five mortality rate has likewise been redu- ced from 76 per 1,000 live births in 2006 to 36 per 1,000 live births in 2018. Another key observation is that in recent years there has been a steady increase in non-communicable dis- eases, namely, hypertension, cancers and diabetes. Oral health, mental health, inju- ries and disabilities are also becoming problems. Thema- jor challenge is to get a clear understanding of the mag- nitude and types of these diseases and to begin to sys- tematically address themat national and community levels as priority areas in the national health agenda. National Health Policy The 2011 revised Natio- nal Health Policy covers six building blocks as recom- mendedby theWorldHealth Organisation which com- prise human resources for health, financing, medici- nes, vaccines, health informa- tion management system, leadership and governance and health service delivery. Health financing, whose goal is to raise and allocate suf- ficient resources and put in place appropriate payment mechanisms, has become a priority area. The revised Health Policy also provides for the separation of regula- tion, inspection, and imple- mentation roles within the health sector. Latest Developments Health services are un- dergoing a transformation that focuses on the delivery of quality care that is finan- cially sustainable; which incorporates a revitalisation of primary health care as well as increased private sec- tor participation. Hospital service standards are being raised through international accreditation. Health districts around the country have reorganised their operations to offer spe- cial access to health facili- ties to those with special needs. To address gaps in emergency medical care, Botswana has established EmergencyMedical Services in seven centres where emer- gency calls are routed and ambulances dispatched from a central point. Botswana’s commitment to health ac- cess for all is also reflected in expansionof operationhours in clinics from 8 to 24 hours. The transformation of Central Medical Stores has resulted in continued im- provement in delivery. As of September 2019, the average availability of medicines at Government health facilities stood at 80%. The outsourc- ing of warehousing and dis- tribution of drugs has greatly improved efficiency and ef- fectiveness of the medical commodities supply chain management. Health facili- ties are now ordering and getting supplied regularly. Efforts to improve access to quality medicines include the decentralisation of dis- pensing chronic care medi- cines to private pharmacies. ICTs have been under- taken to revive the paper- based manual filing proce- dures inhospitals. The rolling out of the Integrated Patient Management System (IPMS) technology in major hospi- tals is one of the moves that has marked a newera in the way health care services are being offered. Conclusion The government of Bots- wana has greatly improved access to health care services in the past years, through consistent investment. It has also implemented various successful policies and ini- tiatives that helped dimin- ish or reverse effects of the most critical health related problems such as HIV/AIDS and TB. It is now hoped that the effective implementation of the new health related strategies and policies would further foster affordable, equitable and sustainable quality healthcare. ■ B OT SWANA 191 BOTSWANA NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR UNESCO