The Ministry of Health and Wellness has engaged over 400 contact tracers to augment the greater Gaborone District Health Management Team (DHMT) in the fight against COVID-19.
Speaking during training in Gaborone last Thursday, the ministry Community Health Services Advisor, Samuel Kolane, said the contact tracers would come in handy because more cases were being identified.
Kolane highlighted out that some of the tracers had done counselling and social work and were engaged based on the need to provide psychosocial support services. He said a team of 42 from the ministry of health in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development had provided psychosocial support services but the team needed boosting.
“There has been an increase in children affected by COVID-19 who need special care. They need to be counselled and given all the necessary assistance for them to be able to cope,” he said.
The government’s decision to engage contract tracers comes at a time when the COVID-19 TaskForce Team announced a further 172 new cases on Monday. With 74 out of those being local transmissions, Prof Mosepele Mosepele said the team were concerned that local transmissions were on the rise. On Monday, Botswana had 169 active cases.
Overall, Botswana has had 251 cases, two deaths and 80 recoveries. The presidential TaskForce was also hit as it emerged that nine of its staff had tested positive.
Professor Mosepele, currently the acting TaskForce Coordinator due to his superior, Dr Kereng Masupu testing positive for the virus, explained that the 145 contact tracers would be working with the 275 that had already been trained.
“After training, the contact tracers will be offered temporary employment for three months, and that will be reliant on the condition of the COVID-19 cases registered,” he said.