Find Health and Medical expertise in Botswana
Botswana has three referral hospitals (in Gaborone, Francistown and Lobatse), seven district hospitals, around 16 primary hospitals and more than 250 health clinics, which are involved in the implementation of AIDS control and prevention programmes.
Botswana’s small pharmaceutical industry produces some basic pharmaceutical products, as well as producing and repackaging vaccines. The distribution subsector of the industry is involved in importing, wholesaling and retailing activities.
Botswana has yet to implement a health insurance plan providing equal access to its citizens. The country faces challenges in terms of determining different needs versus costs. However, under the current policy, no one is turned away from health care if they are unable to pay and there are some free services available, such as for antiretroviral therapy. Children under the age of 12 years are able to access health care for free.
The WHO Country Co-operation Strategic Agenda (2008–12) identifies strengthening health systems as one of its priorities with a focus on the organisation of integrated service delivery and financing to achieve universal health coverage.
Nearly half of health care in Botswana (44%) was paid for by patients or funded by other non-governmental entities – such as private insurers, charities or employers – in 2012. Total health expenditure constituted 5.3% of GDP in 2012, of which 56% was covered by the government.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Botswana accounted for an estimated 46% of all mortality in 2012. The most prevalent NCDs in Botswana are cardiovascular diseases, which accounted for 18% of total deaths across all age groups in 2012. Non-communicable variants of respiratory diseases, cancer and diabetes contributed 2%, 5% and 3% to total mortality, respectively (2012). Communicable diseases along with maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions in Botswana accounted for an estimated 60% of all mortality in 2012. The prevalence of HIV in Botswana, as a percentage of people aged 15–49 years, stood at 21.9% in 2012. Levels of the disease peaked in the early 2000s and, although there has been a decline in recent years, HIV prevalence in the country is still very high. In the period 2000–12 the number of confirmed cases of, as well as deaths from, malaria dropped significantly. Estimated incidence of tuberculosis (TB) has seen an overall decrease in the period 1990–2013 after peaking in 1998, while estimated mortality (when mortality data excludes cases comorbid with HIV) has also decreased in the same time. Injuries accounted for 9% of deaths in 2012.
In 2013 government expenditure on health was 3% of GDP. In the most recent survey, conducted between 1997 and 2010, there were 34 doctors, and 284 nurses and midwives per 100,000 people. Additionally, in 2010, 99% of births were attended by qualified health staff and, in 2013, 94% of one-year olds were immunised with one dose of measles. In 2014, 96% of the country’s population was using an improved drinking water source and 63% had access to adequate sanitation facilities. The most recent survey, conducted in the period 2000–10, reports that Botswana has 19 pharmaceutical personnel per 100,000 people.
Botswana is not a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the covenant that commits signees to the ensuring ‘the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health’.