Babies delivered under cellphone torches

CONCERNED: Moeng Pheto

Midwives at Medie Clinic in the Kweneng District use mobile phone torches as sources of light when delivering babies at night due to lack of electricity in the village, Parliament was told last week Thursday.

Member of Parliament  for Kweneng East, Major General Moeng Pheto said the situation was worse such that the midwives use the little phone torches to literally peep into the mothers to check labour progression and to deliver the babies because they do not have an alternative source of brighter light.

Pheto was calling for the Minister of Minerals, Water and Energy Resources to speed up electricity connections to all villages in his constituency including Medie as  there was an urgent need.

He was in fact making contributions to the state of the nation address, which was tabled before Parliament by President Seretse Khama Ian Khama last week Monday.

During the address Khama stated that pneumonia and diarrhea were among the main causes of early childhood deaths for children under five years of age.

To address the problem Khama said the government has introduced appropriate vaccines and that the government has maintained overall immunization coverage of greater than 90 percent.

However, Pheto contended that the problem ran deeper that just vaccines because where there is shortage of electricity, expectant mother, child and midwife are exposed to serious health conditions.

Nonetheless Khama had assured Parliament that the government was extending the national electricity grid with the target of achieving 80 percent accesses by 2016.

Khama said 28 villages have been selected for electrification during the 2012/2013 financial years at an estimated cost of P93 million, but did not mention which villages and hence Pheto pleaded for villages such as Medie to be included in the list.

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