In a significant stride towards enhancing the medical landscape in Botswana, Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital (SKMTH) has officially launched Radiation Oncology Services. This pivotal addition to the Hospital's range of medical offerings comes as a result of collaborative efforts from various stakeholders and has ushered in a new era of advanced cancer treatment in the country.
The establishment of these services was spearheaded by a Technical Working Group, composed of distinguished figures from both the public and private industry. The Advisory Board played a critical role in shaping the operational framework of the services. Comprising leaders and innovators, this assembly of minds and skills has been hailed as the driving force behind the successful completion of this national healthcare project.
Dr. Edwin Dikoloti, the Minister of Health, stated that “The centre will also offer a comprehensive range of radiation therapy techniques for various types of cancers." He emphasized the Hospital's role in delivering highly specialized healthcare services at a quaternary level, catering for patients referred from various facilities, including self-referrals. Dr. Dikoloti highlighted that "Services will be paid for by the different funders, medical aids, and the government of Botswana through my Ministry.
As Botswana takes a significant step forward the battle against various cancers, the inauguration of Radiation Oncology Services at Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital stands as a testament to the nation's dedication to advancing healthcare infrastructure and providing world-class treatment options for its citizens, the Minister said.
The Centre’s proficient Radiation Oncology team members have honed their expertise in employing cutting-edge techniques to target cancer cells with precision. Techniques such as Stereo Tactic Radiosurgery, VMAT (Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy), interstitial and Low Dose Brachytherapy will be employed, minimizing damage to healthy surrounding tissues.
Statement on behalf of Mr Hua Liu, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation, read in part “Botswana has been a member of the IAEA since 2002, and joined the Rays of Hope initiative last year. Five national IAEA technical cooperation projects have been carried out in support of establishing this Radiotherapy Centre. Together with WHO and IARC, the IAEA is now providing support for the development of Botswana’s first National Cancer Control Programme. The opening of this facility today is an excellent example of the impact of IAEA support to fight cancer, now delivered as an integrated, comprehensive Rays of Hope package”
Mr. Basimane Bogopa, SKMTH Board Chairperson, lauded the unwavering commitment demonstrated by the Technical Working Group. "May we applaud their selfless commitment towards the project. At the back of their minds was that the patient comes first. Thank you, team, for your efforts. Le ka moso," said Mr. Bogopa. He expressed gratitude for the collaborative spirit and emphasized the Hospital's ongoing reliance on TWG guidance as the radiation oncology services are rolled out.
Mr. Othusitse Fane, underlined the Hospital’s commitment to serve diligently as a hub for healthcare, teaching and research. The Hospital, equipped with state-of-the-art radiation oncology equipment, is primed to receive referrals for patients requiring specialized and subspecialized healthcare services in the country, the region and beyond. Further solidifying its position as a Centre of Excellence in sustainable, collaborative and compassionate patient centred care.