One of the critical aspects of access to health services is access to a health care facility within a geographic availability and this has eluded the people of Moshupa since 1974.
According to Kgosi Oscar Mosielele, in 1974 Bakgatla- ba -ga- Mmanaana approached one of the mines in South Africa to help them to build a health facility since most of the men from the village worked as migrant labors in the mines that side. The funds were availed but to their utter dismay it was instead used to build Athlone Hospital in Lobatse while they were rescued by the Seventh Day Adventist church who built a clinic in the village.
“Later on we were promised another hospital and the site was identified and fenced but later the project disappeared into thin air and later told it has been deffered,” said Kgosi Mosielele during the groundbreaking.
In 2009 government suspended the construction of 10 hospitals including Moshupa one and others were Tonota, Mabutsane, Lerala, Mmathubudukwane and Letlhakeng under NDP 10.
The current project was also not without controversy as it was initially awarded to China Jiangsu International and the tender was withdrawn and given to another Chinese company Zhengtai Group. China Jiangsu dragged government to court over the withdrawal of the tender but lost recently at the court of appeal.
On Tuesday a dream to have an access to a health facility which the people of Moshupa were denied 45 years ago was fulfilled with the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the P419 million hospitals.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Alfred Madigele said that it was blessing for the construction of the hospital to be deferred.
“Right now you’re going to have a 70 bed hospital facility and imagine if it was constructed earlier maybe it was going to be a 40 bed facility, so be glad that you’re now going to have a start of the art hospital,” he said.
The hospital which is expected to take 30 months to be completed is located behind Moshupa Senior Secondary School and will have 65 staff houses and will be a high rise building which will consist of the ground and first floor.
In the past there were complaints that Chinese companies do shoddy jobs when doing government projects but Zhengtai Group Director Steven Liu allayed those fears.
He said that they know the importance of the facility to the people of Moshupa and will ensure that they don’t only deliver but also high quality building as they have in other projects they were engaged in.
Construction boom come with its own advantages and disadvantages and one of the great concern is migration of people to the area looking for greener pastures.
One of the challenges is the spread of communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS which during construction boom in the 1990 nearly wiped the population of Botswana.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness Ruth Maphorisa urged the construction company to provide condoms at the site for their workers.
“The project will attract many people to your site and as you stated in the Environmental Impact Assessment we expect you to comply by distributing condoms to your employees,” she said.
Moshupa has two clinics and a health post and go for referrals at Kanye SDA hospital or at Thamaga Primary Hospital.