University of Botswana and Airborne Lifeline Foundation on November 22, 2022 signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enable UB researchers to travel to far-flung parts of the country to provide outreach healthcare, teaching, leaning and research.
Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Professor Richard Tabulawa, signed on behalf of UB while Airborne Lifeline Foundation Founder and President, Mr Johnathan Miller, signed on behalf of his organisation.
Airborne Lifeline Foundation is a US and Botswana-based philanthropic organisation that provides air transport to Ministry of Health professionals to conduct outreach healthcare visits to remote parts of the country.
The MoU will make it possible for UB (clinicians and residents) to be part of those outreach teams for the purposes of service provision as well as teaching and learning. It will also enable UB researchers to travel to far-flung parts of the country as part of their research activities.
In his welcome remarks, Professor Tabulawa expressed gratitude towards US citizens and government for being stable, consistent and reliable partners and friend to Botswana since independence.
He also said UB had bilateral partnerships with a good number of US organisations and agencies such as Baylor College of Medicine, Harvard University School of Public Health, University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University and Ohio State University.
In response, Mr Miller said airborne outreach played an important role in the delivery of clinical services in Botswana and it was a model that could be replicated in other parts of southern Africa. He also expressed his gratitude towards their partnership with UB which he viewed as a sign of progress.
Meanwhile, Dean of Faculty of Medicine, Professor Oathokwa Nkomazana said the faculty was established in 2009 following a presidential directive to provide teaching health system.
She further highlighted that school of medicine also received a five year grant in 2010 (medical aid education fund initiative) worth P10 million to assist in providing medical health care to far places.
Professor Nkomazana also said the Faculty of Medicine existed to provide training of doctors, medical scientists, research and clinical services to the people as well as social accountability.