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Press Releases

  • 10 March 2017
    BONELA CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO CONVICT PERPETRATORS OF CHILD ABUSE   Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS, (BONELA) is alarmed by the increased number of child abuse and violence case being...
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  • 2nd March 2017
     BONELA calls on Government to respect Sex Worker Rights                Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS, (BONELA)...
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  • 09 February 2017
    BONELA RESPONDS TO THE 2017 BUDGET SPEECH
    1.The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA); a human rights organization, dedicated to promoting, protecting and fulfilling the right...
    Read More...
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Press Releases
Administrator

Administrator

Friday, 10 March 2017 13:23

10 March 2017

BONELA CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO CONVICT PERPETRATORS OF CHILD ABUSE

 

IMG 1420Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS, (BONELA) is alarmed by the increased number of child abuse and violence case being reported, some of which have led to the loss of lives like the Palapye and Mogoditshane cases.

These incidences clearly go against Section 61 (1) of the Children’s Act which states that “No person shall subject a child to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. In addition, these cases indicate that the public is not educated on the children’s rights and that the public in general is not taking responsibility to report such cases as prescribed by Section 43 (1) of the Children’s Act 2009 which states that “Where any person has reasonable cause to believe that a child is in need of protection, that person shall immediately make a report to a Social Worker or Police Officer in the district in which the child is resident

Furthermore; BONELA believes that the Botswana Government (through Social Workers, the Police, the Directorate of Public Prosecution and Judges) is not doing enough in instances where these cases are reported because they take long to be prosecuted, creating a barrier to justice as outlined in the Children’s Act of 2009, which was enacted to “provide and protect the physical, emotional, intellectual and social development of children.”

BONELA, therefore challenges the Botswana Government to be responsive on children’s rights issues and convict perpetrators. We are also calling on the general public to be vigilant and responsive on these matters by reporting the incidents to the relevant authorities.

For more information, contact BONELA on:

+267 393 2516 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; the Director on +267 72385054 and follow BONELA on Twitter on @bonelaethics and like our Facebook Page BONELA

 

 

Friday, 03 March 2017 09:15

2nd March 2017

 BONELA calls on Government to respect Sex Worker Rights               

IMG 0352Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS, (BONELA) and Sisonke Association Botswana- a sex worker led organisation joins the world over in commemorating the International Sex Workers Rights day.

The International Sex Workers Rights Day is commemorated annually on the 3rd of March to recognise sex workers the world over; to reflect on the rights of sex workers, services, condition of service as well as challenges they face.

This year’s International Women’s day theme - #BeBoldForChange embraces issues of sex workers as women and recognizes the need to be bold to fight for the change we want to see. The theme challenges communities at various levels to stand up for sex worker rights.

BONELA is implementing various projects targeting sex workers. Through this work, BONELA has come to appreciate that violence against sex workers, particularly, sexual violence such as rape and sexual extortion are on the rise thus making them increasingly vulnerable to HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections. Regrettably, such violence is perpetuated by clients as well as the police.

Sex workers face unprecedented stigma and discrimination in their communities. This is fueled by religious dogma, unfavorable legal environment as well as culture. This has greatly limited their ability to seek redress in the face of injustice and discrimination. Recognizing the above challenges BONELA is scaling up access to services for sex workers including HIV and STI testing, HIV treatment and adherence to treatment. In addition BONELA is also providing sex workers with prevention commodities such as HIV and STI education, condoms and lubricants.

In order to create an enabling environment that promotes, protect and fulfils sex worker rights, BONELA calls on government to;

  1. 1.Repel section 155 of the penal code which perpetuates stigma, discrimination and violence against sex workers.

  2. 2.To increase funding for sex work programming

  3. 3.Register Sisonke Association Botswana- a sex worker led organisation in order to aid mobilisation of sex workers with the view to increase uptake of services. Sisonke was denied registration on the basis that the objects of the society contravene section 7(2)) (a) of the Societies Act and that the establishment of an entity like the one Sisonke intends to register is in contradiction with Section 156 of the penal code chapter 08:01 of the Laws of Botswana.

 For more information contact BONELA on:

+267 393 2516 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;
The Director on +267 72385054 and follow BONELA on Twitter @bonelaethics and like our Facebook Page BONELA

Thursday, 09 February 2017 12:07

09 February 2017

BONELA RESPONDS TO THE 2017 BUDGET SPEECH


pulaIMG 00501.The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA); a human rights organization, dedicated to promoting, protecting and fulfilling the right to health in Botswana; followed with keen interest the delivery of the 2017 Budget Speech by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Kenneth Mathambo.

2.BONELA applauds the government of Botswana for prioritizing health as evidenced by an increased budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Health and Wellness which is the second largest share and constitutes 16.6% of the recurrent budgetary allocation, which is also above the Abuja Declaration commitment. This should ensure equitable access to health care services and good health outcomes for all.

3.While the government has demonstrated a commitment to the betterment of health by increasing the budgetary allocation of the recurrent budget for health to “cater for provision of; drugs, dressings, vaccines, anti-retroviral therapy, replacement of obsolete medical equipment and to implement the Treat All Strategy for HIV/AIDS”; BONELA implores the Minister of Health and Wellness, to ensure that there is a significant allocation of the Ministerial budget towards Key Populations (KP) and high impact interventions for KP given the high rates of HIV prevalence among vulnerable and marginalized groups, particularly among sex workers and Men who have Sex with Men (MSM). BONELA reiterates that the dependence on external funding for KP programs in Botswana is not sustainable given the sharp decline in donor aid, hence, the need for domestic financing for KPs.

4.Furthermore, BONELA implores the Ministry of Health and Wellness to champion legislative reform on KP to facilitate access to health services such as the ‘treat all’ strategy and show returns on investment.

5.In addition, BONELA applauds government‘s increased investment in Social Development. Affirmative action to strengthen programs geared towards the upliftment of People Living with Disabilities is indeed plausible.

6.However, BONELA believes that without a conducive legal environment to promote, protect and fulfill the rights of People Living with Disabilities, these aspirations will be futile. BONELA asserts that without a mandatory law that ensures the protection of rights for People Living with Disabilities, the proposed affirmative action will be subject to duty bearer’s discretion, thereby creating inequalities and abuse of power. We therefore strongly urge government to move swiftly in reviewing the National Policy on Disability so as to facilitate the enactment of a law that will allow People Living with Disability to effectively claim their rights.

7.When addressing the fifth priority area of Consolidation of Good Governance and Strengthening of National Security, the Honourable Minister noted that government will foster “participatory democracy by encouraging dialogue among citizens, and promoting transparency and accountability in the operations of the public sector.” The Minister however neglected to clearly demonstrate how this will be effected without an accompanying budget allocation. BONELA therefore calls on the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security to factor in budget allocations to facilitate public engagement in order to promote democracy, transparency and

8.Lastly, BONELA challenges the Botswana government to be responsive to labour issues and to address working conditions of workers including health care workers to facilitate effective delivery of the proposed NDP 11 mid-term priorities. While we acknowledge that the Minister made reference to the improvement of staff housing, there is need to address specific structural and welfare challenges relating to human resource capacity to deliver quality health services to all.

 

For more information; please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Cindy Kelemi (the Executive Director) This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , +267 73586886

Follow BONELA on Twitter @bonelaethics and like our Facebook Page BONELA

P. O. Box 402958, Gaborone , Botswana | Tel: +267 3932516 | Fax: +267 3932517 | E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | Website: www.bonela.org

Thursday, 02 February 2017 15:26

02 February 2017

BONELA ANTICIPATES GOVERNMENT TO PRIORITIZE HEALTH AND HEALTH SYSTEMS

STRENGTHENING IN THE IMPENDING BUDGET SPEECH

IMG 0029BONELA’s interest in the impending budget speech is very much linked to the mandate of the organization which is to work to ensure protection, promotion and fulfilment of the right to health in Botswana. BONELA therefore has a vested interest in resource allocation, particularly for the health sector. It is well documented that health is a cross cutting issue which affects not just the individuals wellbeing, but the county’s economic and social development. Diseases have no regard for boundaries; they affect the poor as well as the rich, working class and the unemployed, leaders and those being led, educated and uneducated alike, therefore our approach to health should be considerate of the fact that its firstly, a human rights issue which affects socio, economic, cultural and religious wellbeing.

While Botswana has not rectified and thereby domesticated the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; which deems the right to health one of the rights which should be protected in the constitution, Botswana has a legal and moral obligation to ensure equitable access to health, particularly for vulnerable and marginalized populations.

BONELA has always held a strong view that health should be allocated a larger share of the national budget. However, BONELA is cognisant of the fact that Botswana is one of the few countries in Africa that have attained the Abuja Declaration commitment of ensuring that at least 15% of the allocation of the national budget goes to health. That notwithstanding, the amount of money allocated has not yet translated to equitable access to health, owing in part to the poor health system; ranging from a lack of adequate and motivated staff, oftentimes manifesting in poor attitudes towards the service recipients, to a lack of human resource capacity resulting in poor performance of the health care system.

The pharmaceutical arm of the health care system is failing Batswana as there are evident flaws in the procurement of health care commodities and the supply chain which fails to guarantee the universal access to requisite services such as medication, condoms, lubricants, HIV test kits and other health commodities. In 2016 alone, BONELA received 19 cases relating to medical malpractice, negligence and wrongful diagnosis, which are all indicative of the ailing health care system. It is therefore imperative that Botswana prioritizes addressing these pervasive weaknesses of the system in order to improve access to quality health care and wellbeing for all.

We therefore need to:

  1. 1.Ensure sustainability of health care, particularly access to Antiretroviral Therapy for all who need treatment including foreigners. This mean ring fencing money allocated for the procurement of ARVs.
  2. 2.Prioritize increase investment in prevention of HIV and other diseases. This will help in further sustaining the health care system in the long term.
  3. 3.Increase human resource capacity for health (nurses and doctors), as the endemic shortage of health care staff debilitates the ability of the sector to deliver better health outcomes.
  4. 4.Invest resources in health system strengthening in order to improve service delivery.
  5. 5.Commitment to increase efficiencies in the supply chain management to ensure health commodities reach the service recipients timeously.

BONELA can be contacted on+267 393 2516 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For more information, please contact:

Tebogo Gareitsanye – Project Coordinator     This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +267 73297509

Cindy Kelemi – Executive Director                This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +267 73 58 68 886


Follow BONELA on Twitter on @bonelaethics and like our Facebook Page BONELA

P. O. Box 402958, Gaborone , Botswana | Tel: +267 3932516 | Fax: +267 3932517 | E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | Website: www.bonela.org

Thursday, 03 November 2016 10:03

03 November 2016

LETLHABILE STUDENT DENIED TO WRITE AN EXAM ON ACCOUNT OF DRESS CODE

 

indexThe Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/ AIDS (BONELA) learnt with utmost dismay that a Form 3 student at Letlhabile Community Junior Secondary School was barred from taking her one of her final exam papers on account of her dress code – she was wearing school trousers instead of a skirt on a day that was designated for skirts. This student was promptly returned home at the school gate on the date of the examination without any hearing.

In light of this, on the 28th of October 2016, BONELA issued a letter of demand against the Head Master of Letlhabile Community Junior Secondary School and the Chief Education Officer in Tonota, calling on them to provide the opportunity for the student in question to sit for her examination as a matter of urgency. Despite several attempts to engage education officials, including the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Basic Education, Grace Muzila, BONELA has not received any form of feedback as to how they intend to rectify this situation.

It is common cause that Botswana is an avid protector of children’s rights. This is evidenced by the fact that we are a signatory to international instruments such as the United Nations on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) as well as the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC). On the national level, Botswana has domesticated these laws in the form of the Children’s Act (2009) which is specifically enacted to “provide and protect the physical, emotional, intellectual and social development…of children.”

Noting this, it is our stance as a human rights organization that the actions of the Head Master of Letlhabile Community Junior School were in direct contravention with the child’s right to education, which is provided for under Section 18 of the Children’s Act.

Additionally, the actions of the Head Master were not ‘in the best interests the child’ which is deemed to be the paramount consideration when it comes to all decisions relating to the child, this being provided for under Section 5 of the Children’s Act. This principle is further supported by Article 3 of the UNCRC, which states that “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be consideration.”

We therefore call upon the Permanent Secretary of Education, Grace Muzila, to take action with immediate effect. Failure to do so will result in BONELA taking all necessary steps to protect the child’s right to education.

 

For more information please contact:

 
Cindy Kelemi : BONELA Executive Director This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +267 393 25 16

Ramatoulie Jallow: Legal Officer This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it    +267 71 34 08 00

Motshegetsi Setlalekgosi: Programmes Officer This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Follow BONELA on Twitter on @bonelaethics and like our Facebook Page BONELA

P. O. Box 402958, Gaborone , Botswana | Tel: +267 3932516 | Fax: +267 3932517 | E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | Website: www.bonela.org

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:34

20th October 2016

 BONELA CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF HIV POSITIVE MINE

WORKERS AT BCL AND TATI NECKLE MINE

 

BCL-MINE 1-720x480

The Botswana Network on Ethics Law & HIV/AIDS (BONELA) is concerned by the report found in the Mmegi Newspaper stating that when both BCL and Tati Nickle Mining Company were closed no provisions of transfer were made for the mine workers on ARVs.

The alleged failure on the part of government to put in place and in advance measures that will ensure that basic rights of mine workers are not affected by the abrupt closure of the mine will constitute a serious violation of their right to health, particularly access to treatment, their right to dignity and to be treated in a humane and non-degrading manner among other human rights.

Overlooking the likely impact of the closure of the mines on access to essential medicines such as ARVs by mine workers and consequently failing to adequately plan for this eventuality will obviously impact negatively on adherence by those on treatment and subsequently their health as some clients may be lost to follow up. In support of the Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWM) we therefore call upon the government to make concerted efforts to consult and link miners on treatment who have been accessing medical care through the mines or mine schemes to other facilities and/or schemes that would immediately absorb them.

This process should include a diligent and speedy transfer of medical records for all patients in a manner that respects their right to confidentiality and dignity. We also urge miners whose rights may be violated through this process to contact BONELA without hesitation for free legal services and psycho-social support.

 

BONELA can be contacted on+267 393 2516 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


For more information please contact:

Phazha Molebatsi – Policy & Legal Advisor This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +267 75 49 05 99

Cindy Kelemi – Executive Director This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +267 73 58 68 886

Follow BONELA on Twitter on @bonelaethics and like our Facebook Page: BONELA

Wednesday, 31 August 2016 14:37

31 August 2016

BONELA CLIENT FOUND GUILTY UNDER

SECTION 164 OF THE PENAL CODE

The Botswana Network on Ethics Law & HIV/AIDS (BONELA) regrets to announce that one of its clients has been found guilty of violating section 164 of the Penal Code of Botswana. This was after an accusation that he had slept with another man. He has been sentenced by a Gaborone Magistrate Court to three and half years, two of which have been suspended for three years.

When the matter started our client was charged with an offence of having had unlawful carnal knowledge with another man without his consent. This charge was unexpectedly altered to that of him having had carnal knowledge with another man contrary to section 164 of the Penal Code. The last charge criminalises same sex acts for being unnatural.

BONELA has always held the position that section 164 of the Penal Code should not be part of the laws of Botswana for several reasons. Among others, section 164 of the Penal Code is unconstitutional as it discriminates against homosexual people; non-discrimination being a fundamental right to be enjoyed by all under the constitution. This was reiterated in the recently delivered LEGABIBO registration case that “nothing could be plainer and that there are no exclusions whatever”.

"Over and above the foregoing we are of the strong view that this discriminatory law fuels stigma faced by homosexual people, perpetuating their unequal treatment which also has adverse consequences on the country’s response to HIV/AIDS. We can attest to this aspect as for a very long time our client would not let the attorneys engaged by BONELA challenge the constitutionality of this section from the onset for fear of stigma." said Cindy Kelemi, the Executive Director of BONELA.

The Coordinator of LEGABIBO Anna Chalmers is of the view that this current conviction is testimony that despite assurances by the leadership of Former President Festus Mogae guaranteeing that there will be no persecution of people on the basis of their sexual orientation, the State has gone against its word. A need thus remains to have this repugnant section removed from our laws.

BONELA’s Policy and Legal Advisor Phazha Molebatsi stated that the client has given the organisation the mandate to take the matter on appeal against conviction and sentence in line with the organisation’s strategic objective of ensuring access to justice for vulnerable and marginalised populations including men who have sex with men.

 

BONELA can be contacted on+267 393 2516 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For more information please contact:

Phazha Molebatsi – Policy & Legal Advisor               This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   +267 75 49 05 99

Cindy Kelemi – Executive Director                            This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it      +267 73 58 68 886

 
Follow BONELA on Twitter on @ bonela_ethics and like our Facebook Page BONELA

 

 

 

Wednesday, 10 August 2016 13:55

10th August 2016

BONELA’S REACTION TO THE MAYOR OF FRANCISTOWN’S
CALL FOR POLICE BRUTALITY ON SEX WORKERS

CaptureThe Botswana Network on Ethics Law & HIV/AIDS (BONELA) is deeply dismayed by the contents of the report found in The Voice newspaper of Friday 5th August 2016 wherein the Mayor of Francistown, Sylvia Muzila is said to have instructed the Police to beat up sex workers.

The Mayor’s call for use of violence against sex workers comes at a time when we least expect it, when leaders around the world are strategizing to combat police brutality on people in violation of their human rights, which should imperatively enjoin the Mayor to be part of this noble effort by leaders who are interested in the promotion of peace in their communities and fostering a human rights oriented police force.

As a leader the mayor should be cautious about her personal views not interfering with her leadership role; which should not be about herself but about the people. Furthermore, the call for violence by the Mayor does not enjoy the support of our aspirations, laws or norms as Batswana. Not only will violence against sex workers violate their basic rights as persons, who in Botswana are mostly women, it will also frustrate the efforts of the government of Botswana to responding to HIV/AIDS.

BONELA strongly believes that organizing sex workers and keeping them at the centre of the national response to HIV/AIDS will significantly reduce new infections as well as promote access to treatment. The mayor’s call for violence on sex workers therefore poses a serious threat to the efforts of the government of Botswana to improve access to quality HIV/AIDS services as outlined in the Second Botswana National Strategic Framework for HIV/AIDS and if heeded would bring about a regression in the formation of an enabling legal environment that is key to combating HIV as espoused by the National Strategy for Behaviour Change Interventions and Communications for HIV/AIDS.

BONELA consequently views the Mayor’s statement as irresponsible and missing the bigger picture of the national response to HIV/AIDS and in light thereof we call upon the Mayor to retract her statement in an effort to improve the quality of lives of her people.

For more information please contact:

BONELA can be contacted on+267 393 2516 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Phazha Molebatsi – Policy & Legal Advisor This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +267 75 49 05 99

Cindy Kelemi – Executive Director This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +267 73 58 68 886

Follow BONELA on Twitter on @bonelaethics and like our Facebook Page BONELA

 

Tuesday, 28 June 2016 11:19

27th June 2016

 BONELA CALLS ON RELEVANT AUTHORITIES TO ACCOUNT: MONTSAMAISA SEXUAL VIOLENCE CASE


stop-sexual-violence2On the 7th of June 2016, BONELA learnt about the incident that occurred at Montsamaisa CJSS where a child who-while on a science fair trip and sleeping unsupervised in a classroom-was raped. This incident was confirmed by Kutlwano Police Station. To date, there hasn’t been any update from the Police, Ministry of Education, Teachers Union and other duty bearers regarding the case.

Firstly, BONELA condemns the sexual abuse of children. Our particular interest in this issue lies in our work on the promotion and protection of children’s rights. It is in line with this work that we note that the teacher(s) who traveled with the children were effectively their guardians; and by leaving them to sleep unsupervised acted negligently thereby failing to ensure the best interests of the child. This is where Section 5 of the 2009 Children’s Act unequivocally states that “the best interests of the child are paramount”. In this case, the negligence led to the sexual assault of a child. These actions by the teacher(s) are also contrary to section 25(1) of the Act which states that children have the right to be protected from sexual abuse, and this right is to be upheld by teacher(s) when the child was in their care.

Secondly, in light of this and other recent events and ensuing discussions around the sexual abuse of children, BONELA calls on the Ministry of Education to diligently ensure that children within their care are not subject to any kind of abuse. The Children’s Act (section 25(4)) specifically calls on the Minister or Education to “devise or cause to be devised programmes to prevent the sexual exploitation of children”. BONELA therefore urges the Minister to take steps to ensure that such programmes are put in place and so stop predatory behavior towards children.

BONELA also encourages the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to take the lead as the custodian of children and the Children’s Act to ensure that no loopholes exist where children could be subject to abuse.

Lastly, we implore the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to improve the conviction rate of perpetrators of sexual and other abuse against children. The Children’s Act details various penalties for various abuses against children so the DPP needs to apply these penalties so as to demonstrate that there penalties are real and in order to curb further child exploitation. 

The government should approach the protection and promotion of children’s rights as a unit thereby playing a role in securing their futures and the future of this country.

 

For more information please contact:

Cindy Kelemi : BONELA Executive Director This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +267 393 25 16

Follow BONELA on Twitter on @bonelaethics and like our Facebook Page BONELA

P. O. Box 402958, Gaborone , Botswana |

Tel: +267 3932516 Fax: +267 3932517 E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | Website: www.bonela.org

 

 

 

Wednesday, 22 June 2016 12:27

22 June 2016

“HEALTH PROFESSIONALS SHOULD BE HELD PERSONALLY ACCOUNTABLE”

IMG 0050On the 21st of June 2016, the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS, attended a Health Ethics Seminar organized by AVIWE Healthcare Resource and Training Institute themed “Upholding Healthcare Ethics in Modern Society.” The seminar was officially opened by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Ms Sheenaz El Habib and presentations were made on behalf of the Botswana Health Professionals Council (BHPC), the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in addition to the presentations made by various experts in healthcare ethics.

According to the Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) of 1946, “The enjoyment of the highest standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”

It cannot be stressed enough, that the attainment of this “highest standard of health” is intrinsically linked to ethical behaviour and the observance of human rights where the principles of Beneficence, Non-Maleficence, Autonomy and Justice are practiced in that the patient’s best interests are always taken into account by the health provider, that the patient’s right to make their own decisions is honoured and respected on being informed of available options, that harm is not done to the patient in anyway and finally that all patients are treated impartially with equal access to quality healthcare for all.

While we, as the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) recognize the efforts made to promote the observance of the above mentioned principles in healthcare facilities, through various pieces of health legislation such as the Botswana Health Professionals Act among many other as well as through the use of ethical code of conduct it is imperative to note that there is a growing number of cases relating to medical malpractice and negligence which are a cause for concern. In one week alone, we receive at least one case relating to the fields mentioned above and this hardly compares to the magnitude of cases that go unreported. We highlight the fact that this has the effect of chipping away the integrity of the health industry in Botswana with more and more patients losing faith in accessing quality healthcare services.

It is unacceptable that the Government, through taxpayer’s money, continue to bear the costs of medical malpractice, while violators hide behind the veil of vicarious liability. It is therefore stressed that health professionals are held personally liable.

We call upon the Government of Botswana to create a more legally enabling environment for health by ensuring that the right to health is enshrined within Botswana’s Constitution. We further call upon BHPC to strengthen accountability mechanisms by ensuring that health professionals who breach the Code of Ethical Professional Conduct are taken to task. Lastly, we call upon the public to report cases of ethical violations; documentation is our biggest tool in advocating for justice.


For more information please contact:

Ramatoulie Jallow: Legal Officer This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it    +267 71 34 08 00

Cindy Kelemi : BONELA Executive Director This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it +267 393 25 16

Follow BONELA on Twitter on @bonelaethics and like our Facebook Page BONELA

P. O. Box 402958, Gaborone , Botswana |

Tel: +267 3932516 Fax: +267 3932517 E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | Website: www.bonela.org

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