BROTHERS IN ARMS: Brigadier Motsumi and Major Shinn opening the lab

Botswana Defence Force in collaboration with the United States of America built a medical laboratory which cost 1.2 million pula.
The lab was officially opened last week in Francistown 2 military Garrison and it will provide health services to BDF community, soldiers, their spouses, their children and relatives. Major
Thomas S. Shinn, from the office of security cooperation represented the US Ambassador in the handing over.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony commander 2 Infantry Brigade Brigadier Letsogile Motsumi said provision of services such as this one is a deliberate command decision to improve the lives of members of the Botswana Defence Force and that of the community at large. “We have to embrace these efforts through optimal utilization of services provided in these facilities and by ensuring that they are taken care of. We expect to see improvement in the turn around time for laboratory results which should lead to efficiency in starting patients on correct treatment. Another
magnificent facility of this nature was handed over to the BDF last year August and another one will soon be completed at Eastern Military Garrison Selibe Phikwe. The importance of having this facility is improving the quality of life for members of this organization and their families” said Brigadier Motsumi.
He also said the contributions of the United State Government to the growth of health services should be understood within the overall strategic goal of ensuring a stable security environment by assisting Botswana to maintain a healthy Defence Force. Motsumi said through these bilateral relations the office of security cooperation has in the past provided information technology equipment, vehicles and laboratory equipment to support our HIV and AIDS programs. He added that last year BDF conducted an HIV prevalence study of which through the laboratory component was critical and they relied on national health laboratory for expertise and relevant technology. He said he hope that US will continue to work with them to improve technology and expertise so that the next round of the study finds then being self sufficient.
In his remarks Major Thomas Shinn said USA and Botswana militaries cooperated in an effort to improve quality of life and he was happy about the relationshipbetween the two militaries.
The laboratory structure according to BDF will offer medical services such as biochemistry, haematology, microbiology and Virology.

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