Friday, May 1, 2009

H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, at the Official Opening of the Letsholathebe II Memorial Hospital, Maun

source: Republic of Botswana (27/4/09) TAUTONA TIMES no 12 of 2009
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline"


Your Excellency, Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President of the Republic of Botswana; Honourable Ministers; Honourable Members of Parliament; Members of the Diplomatic Corps; Excellencies; Distinguished Guests; Ladies and Gentlemen;

1. I thank you so much, my dear brother, for giving me the honour and privilege to officiate the opening of the Letsholathebe II Memorial Hospital. To the people of Maun, I thank you for your warm welcome and for performance of Dikonyana Cultural Group and the sweet voices from the Spirit of Praise Choir. I bring with me to you the warm and fraternal greetings of your brothers and sisters in Tanzania. They are proud of the good relations that our two countries enjoy.

2. We join you in mourning the untimely death of the Chief Medical Officer of this hospital. Please accept our deepest sympathies and condolences. I pray for your strength. May God rest his soul in eternal peace!

3. Mr. President, allow me to use this opportunity to congratulate Your Excellency for the remarkable achievements you have made and continue to make in providing basic social services to the people of Botswana. Today's event and ceremony speaks volumes about your efforts, your leadership and your successes. Your achievements have been noticed and appreciated both in Botswana and beyond. I can say, without exaggerating or fear of contradiction, that Botswana is a good example of good things happening. You are the envy of many of us in the region.

4. Ladies and Gentlemen, I congratulate the people of Botswana, particularly the people of Maun, for this great achievement. I am informed that, with 270 beds, this hospital will be serving a population of 72,000. This is not a small number. The people of Maun and the nearby villages can now rest in comfort and pride that they will be served by excellent medical facilities. Many lives will be saved and many people in pain will get relief. I am very impressed to learn that this hospital has been improved to the highest standards and also fitted with the best equipment in the medical profession. It is now a totally different outfit from the 1935 hospital that you are accustomed to know and use. The improvements made enable the hospital to provide not only different but also the highest quality medical services.

5. Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen, wider access to quality healthcare service to people is an important measure of development. It is a basic necessity and, indeed, a basic right for every citizen. The construction of the hospital demonstrates in clear terms that President Khama cares and is committed to deliver on this important service to his people. He is the President who loves his people and has their interest at heart.

6. The people of Botswana are lucky to have President Khama as their leader. This hospital, together with other hospitals in Botswana, which are also of a high standard, moves this country a big step forward in the journey to providing quality healthcare services for all the people of this great nation. This is something for all of us on the African continent to emulate. No wonder that many people in our region flock to Botswana for an assurance of excellent medical care. Indeed, able and competent medical professionals from different corners of the world come to Botswana to practice medicine. They do so because of the high quality facilities you have put in place.

7. I congratulate you, Mr. President, and the government of Botswana for continuing to uphold this high standard and good reputation. Ladies and Gentlemen; it is important to remind ourselves that this hospital will last as long as we ensure adequate investment in its care and maintenance. I have no doubt that this matter has been considered and that provisions have been duly set for this purpose. The definition of a good hospital is not just a shining building. It is a combination of modern facilities and excellent medical care and services. From what I heard and saw, this is indeed a world class hospital.

8. I am confident that the management of this hospital will retain able and competent medical personnel who will maintain the reputation for excellent medical care that this hospital must provide. Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen; In conclusion, I wish to congratulate, once again, the Government of Botswana for great achievement in providing quality health services to its people. You are doing very well with the implementation of Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 on the reduction of child and maternal mortality. You are making remarkable achievements in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This is the fight that we must win.

9. Before I conclude, allow me to once again congratulate the people of Maun for getting, in their area, such a high quality hospital. Definitely, this will translate into better health and improvement of their lives. And please don't forget care and maintenance. I wish you the best of luck. Pula! Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is now my pleasure and honour to declare that the Letsholathebe II Memorial Hospital is officially opened.

10. I thank you for your kind attention

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