MOLEPOLOLE - Residents of Molepolole have been encouraged to take the influenza A (H1N1) vaccine.
The Assistant Minister of Health, Mr Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri said the vaccine is vital, especially since South Africa is hosting the FIFA World Cup tournament.
"Please do not take the issue lightly to avoid an epidemic," said the Molepolole North MP at a kgotla meeting on Monday.
He noted that the tournament has resulted in an influx of people to South Africa, adding that it is likely that some of them will pass through Botswana.
The first phase of the vaccination campaign started on Monday and is targeting health workers, expectant mothers, immigration and customs officials at border posts as well as people aged 11 to 64 suffering from chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, sugar diabetes and cancer.
The second phase of the campaign will target children aged six months to 10 years while the third phase will target those aged 11 to 39. The fourth and last phase of the campaign will target those aged 39 and above.
Mr Matlhabaphiri said the campaign aims to include all citizens and foreigners.
Molepolole residents were also informed that all primary health facilities are now under the Ministry of Health. The assistant minister said the government is still considering which Molepolole clinics will operate around the clock to relief Scottish Livingstone Hospital.
Mr Matlhabaphiri noted that it is the responsibility of his ministry to avail drugs to patients, adding that if the drugs are not available it is the responsibility of the health personnel to source them for patients.
He urged patients to refuse to look for drugs from other health facilities. On their part, residents complained about shortage of drugs.
They said some patients have opted to purchase their prescription medication from private chemists. BOPA