Botswana’s first privately owned health institution, Boitekanelo College and Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development earlier this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding meant to address the health needs of rural area communities.
The Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture and the Ministry of Health facilitate the education and employment rural area communities while councils identify and support placement of students at the college under the initiative.
The Ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary Halakangwa Mbulai said the collaboration had been on-going for some time and that the two parties were just formalizing their partnership.
“I am also grateful that there is already a plan to employ all students at the various health facilities upon completion of their studies,” she said.
Mbulai further stated that the partnership was long overdue since they always considered education a top priority and a means to empower and uplift the lives of rural area communities.
“The ministry commits to fulfilling its obligations as stated in the MOU and will continue to explore new areas of collaboration that will further improve the lives of our RACs and take this partnership to greater heights.
“My understanding of Community Development is that it requires a multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary approach.
It also requires collaboration and partnership with all relevant stakeholders.
In this case my considered view is that Community development and public health are two sides of the same coin because; good public health indicators facilitate community development and a good community development programme enhances public health indicators.”
Boitekanelo College Managing Director, Dr Tiro Mampane said the collaborative research would be conducted to create evidence based data to inform policy and programming.
These efforts, he said, would encourage social inclusion and self reliance of Batswana to support government poverty eradication strategies.
“I firmly believe that this MOU also represents our earnest effort towards the objective of improving the livelihoods of rural communities through improving access to tertiary education of youth and capacity building for community development workers so that they execute their mandate with diligence and excellence.
“These efforts echo what the country’s vision articulates, an informed and educated nation by 2016.
I believe the platform created by this MOU will facilitate the inter change of ideas between the people of the two institutions,” Dr Mampane said.