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Posted in News
August 19, 2020

BHP remains resilient amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP) Dr Mompati Mmalane has commended BHP staff for their collective efforts in mitigating the effects of the fast spreading COVID-19 disease. In a communication to staff, Dr Mmalane has urged employees to continue being vigilant to ensure that BHP remains resilient amid the global pandemic.

BHP Deputy CEO, Dr Mompati Mmalane

“The world over is going through turbulent times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a pandemic that none of us has experienced in our living memory. No country, and no organization will remain untouched by this devastating pandemic,” noted Dr Mmalane.

He pointed out that Botswana like other nations is going through uncertain times as evidenced by the ever increasing numbers of people testing positive for SARS- Cov-2 virus in the country, as well as repeat lockdowns. This, Dr Mmalane said calls for all employees, individually and collectively; to do all they can to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said BHP remains committed and determined to overcome all the challenges, noting that management have been observing how staff has skillfully managed to continue with the organisation’s research and capacity building mandate. 

“As an essential service provider, we have seen you managing your work during the six weeks lockdown in April and May while observing COVID-19 Protocols including working from home and using virtual platforms. Overall while for both staff and patient safety there was deferment of non-essential on site research activity, remote interaction with research participants and tele-visits meant there was minimal disruption of research activities. The mitigating measures established and the operations of the organization remained solid. We would like to recognize and thank you all for a job well done,” said Dr Mmalane.

The Deputy CEO continued: “I applaud you as BHP for rapid response in offering technical advise and assistance to the Ministry of Health and Wellness and consequently to the Government and people of Botswana. You facilitated capacity building to the national laboratory program and volunteered to help with the testing for SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19. In collaboration with the National Health Laboratory, BHP is now one of the leading testing facilities; I thank you for the professionalism, commitment and dedication you all have displayed faced with this national emergency. The management is very appreciative of all the effort you have put in.”

He singled out a few cadres who he said have been going an extra mile in the fight against COVID-19. He revealed that the Laboratory Team has been working 24 hours per day for two or three weeks. “I would really want to thank them and their leadership for having steered the ship despite the rough waters we faced at the beginning. The country I believe recognizes and appreciates BHP more, because of their effort,” he said.

Laboratory Scientist working on COVID-19 samples.

The driversalso had special recognition. Dr Mmalane stated that the drivers were key in the successful running of clinical visits and transportation of medicines to study participants during the lock down. They were also pivotal in facilitating the 24 hours a day, seven days a week of work at the laboratory by transporting staff to and from work at odd times.

The third team that got special mention is the BHP COVID-19 Testing team of volunteers involved in testing staff and patients at Princess Marina Hospital. This exercise has increased BHP’s visibility within PMH and has positioned itself as an important and dependable partner and stakeholder. Despite mentioning the three teams, Dr Mmalane emphasized that the rest of the BHP staff members were also earnestly involved in the fight. 

“With the support of all of you, we are part of the national efforts to defeat COVID-19. The management would sincerely like to thank you all, and urge you to continue with the wonderful job you are all doing. Re tlaa fenya ntwa e. (We will win this battle).”

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