Botswana eases medication access with e-lockers
Botswana is rolling out e-lockers programme to dispense chronic disease medication around the clock.
The e-lockers, called Yarona (“For us” in Setswana), are used to dispense medication to clients with chronic conditions, including antiretroviral for HIV treatment.
The government says this innovation offers citizens the convenience of collecting medications outside working hours, preventing missed work or school, decongesting health facilities.
Through the e-lockers programme 2000 people are being served monthly, according to the government.
Health authorities say the development is a step towards adoption of technology as it seeks digitise public healthcare.
“Indeed these e-lockers will help improve the lives of many Batswana who will no longer have to endure unnecessary queues at health facilities.
“The facilities will become less congested which will give fresh air and space to our health system which currently has to contend with persistent disease outbreaks and other emerging public health threats,” said Botswana’s health minister Dr. Edwin Dikoloti.
The minister said patients will now have the flexibility of choosing a time most convenient for them to collect medication and the programme lifts government efforts to fight healthcare challenges.
“Only a resilient and highly innovative health care system can withstand health shocks,” said the minister.
Dr. Dikoloti added that his ministry is now introducing more digital solutions to manage healthcare in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number three, which encourages UN member states to come up with initiatives that will improve access to health services.