A sum of P1.13 billion is requested as additional funding under the Ministry of Health and Wellness. The amount is required for the procurement of medical supplies, mainly vaccines and associated medical items such as syringes, needles and surgical masks. 9 The amount will also cover the cost of transporting the vaccines and other logistics items such as cold chain storage. The requested funding is also required for operational costs for the Treatment Centre and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital (SKMTH).
In addition, the funds will also accommodate salaries and allowances for Health Professionals such as Nurses, Clinical Technologists and Laboratory Scientists hired through the University of Botswana for COVID-19 Emergency Response Needs at SKMTH Treatment Centre and ICU. Given the uncertainties surrounding the COVID 19 pandemic and its successive variants, these additional requirements could not be foreseen at the time of 2021/2022 budget exercise because the pricing data for the medical supplies mainly, vaccines was indeterminate. In addition, the evolution of the disease and indications of the vaccines’ availability timeframe were unclear.