Botswana medical doctor' services a hit amidst COVID-19 pandemic
In 2019, 31-year-old Koketso Majuta quit his job at Gaborone Private Hospital, one of Botswana's largest hospitals, and opened his own medical clinic in the small town of Palapye.
Little did he know then that his presence and services would benefit the growing town greatly during the COVID-19 pandemic that followed.
"We decided early on that we needed to play our part in the fight against the pandemic," said Majuta, founder of Toro Clinic Medical Centre.
To serve the town effectively during Botswana's lockdowns, curfews and other assortments of COVID-19 restrictions, Majuta introduced a home delivery of medication, a service that largely benefited his elderly clients during the lockdowns as they were able to receive their medication from the comfort of their homes.
His latest service on offer is the COVID-19 rapid testing.
"Testing has always been the cornerstone of the public health response. We also wanted to position ourselves as a clinic that is responsive to the current needs of our clients," he said.
The reception of the clinic in Palapye has been good as it has changed the way the residents access healthcare, he said.
"They are now assured that they can get quality healthcare similar to that which they would get in the big city," he said.
Responding to the challenges of the pandemic the way he did not expect after opening his clinic, Majuta said it has benefited his business greatly.
"We have never closed our clinic for a single day during the State of Emergency, even during lockdowns. This has cemented our position as a reliable clinic that is responsive to our patients' needs," he said.
The clinic that offers general practitioner consultations until midnight and linked to a pharmacy has also become popular within the Greater Palapye, Tswapong region, and other parts of the country.
"We offer occupational medical health services and consultancy to the mining, energy, transport and logistics companies in the region," he said.
Majuta's drive emanates from the fact that he has always dreamt of seeing every Botswana citizen in every village having access to a private quality healthcare of their choice, and of having every local within an hour from a hospital for definitive care.
Though Botswana has good healthcare coverage with the majority of the population having access to basic healthcare services, its Universal Health Care is plagued with challenges such as poorly deployed and underutilised human resource, limited physical access to services, and poor quality of services due to inadequate resources.
This has since increased challenges associated with quality care and incapacitated the delivery of services provided by the hospitals.
Some of these issues hampering Botswana's national health system became rather pronounced when the country had to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Majuta, who was inspired to venture into the medical profession by the realisation that almost all doctors were foreign during his visits to Nyangabwe Referral Hospital where his grandmother worked when he was kid, is striving to contribute to the transformation of the healthcare system, ensuring the efficacy of Botswana's universal health care.
Had it not been for his young age, Majuta could have achieved more to date.
"I initially left my government job in 2017 with the aim of starting an aeromedical evacuation company at the age of 26. I had convinced Fly Mission Services to partner with me, but then we needed an approval license from Ministry of Health, which they refused to give me as they said I was too young," said Majuta.
After being turned down, Majuta went to work for the Okavango Air Rescue, hoping he could be allowed to set up a company independently some day.