India explores trade with Botswana in health care

BG Reporter
Tuesday, 13 June 2017
Dr. Ketan Shukla, High Commissioner of India to Botswana with Hon. Ms. Dorcas Makgato, Minister of Health and Wellness and other dignitaries on the occasion. Dr. Ketan Shukla, High Commissioner of India to Botswana with Hon. Ms. Dorcas Makgato, Minister of Health and Wellness and other dignitaries on the occasion.

Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, India will conduct more than 1000 sight restoration surgeries at Scottish Livingstone Hospital in Molepolole in partnership with Ministry of Health and Wellness from 1st – 30th June 2017.

The official launch of Botswana Cataract Blindness Campaign was held this week Tuesday 6th June 2017 at Scottish Livingstone Hospital in Molepolole attended by among other dignitaries, Dr. Ketan Shukla, High Commissioner of India to Botswana, Dorcas Makgato, Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Tlamelo Mmatli, Member of Parliament and the District Commissioner As part of India’s commitment to development assistance programmes in humanitarian aid, educational scholarships and other capacity building programmes, Dr Thuso Iketleng and Tshepiso Sethunya  Montsho of Scottish Livingstone Hospital attended a ‘Course On Eye Care Training’ in India at Dr. Sharoff’s Charity Eye Hospital, India in 2016-17 under ITEC/SCAAP programme Speaking at the launch, Dr. Ketan Shukla expressed gratitude that in 2016, Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, India in partnership with Ministry of Health and Wellness performed more than 500 sight restoration surgeries at Sekgoma Memorial Hospital in Serowe.

He said that blindness impacts on a person’s quality of life, adding that patients who undergo cataract surgery are found to have an increase in per capita income of households, are more likely to undertake and spend more time on productive activities and have improved quality of life.

The High Commissioner also mentioned possible areas where India can support Botswana in improving eye health. These include the training of Ophthalmologists and paramedics in modern eye surgery and specialty services of Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy, Cornea and Paediatric Ophthalmology.

He said India could also assist in the provision of consumables, equipment and maintenance, since it is the world’s best supplier of consumables and equipment at affordable rates. In fact he confirmed that India is exploring ‘Made in India’ healthcare products supply to Africa.

Dr. Shukla said essential medicines, consumables, spectacles, low vision devices, IOLs, instruments and equipment are available for the eye health service providers, and that referral of specialty surgeries of Retina, Corneal transplantation, Oculoplasty, Paediatrics and refractory glaucoma to India were available at “very economical rates.” He said Botswana is ideally suited for an intervention because it has the political will to improve the health of its people; excellent primary health care system and has pre-identified patients with cataract on registry. He advised that Botswana needs to develop capacity through training to cater for ongoing needs and create a long-term collaboration with organisations like Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, India to improve eye-care delivery.

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