A hospital in Botswana on Monday suspended routine referrals to hospitals in South Africa where foreigners have been hit by a recent spate of xenophobic violence.
“This was done to take into consideration safety of our staff and patients. We are aware that these attacks are happening in a few areas in South Africa, but they can have a ripple effect,” said public relations officer, Kagiso Motsumi, from the Princess Marina Hospital in the capital Gaborone.
“However, referral arrangements for patients with life- threatening conditions and emergencies will continue,” Motsumi said, citing that such patients will be transported to avoid loss of life.
The hospital’s move follows notice from Botswana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the citizens should delay their travel to South Africa until the situation there normalizes.
Botswana has over 120 students studying in South Africa’s port city of Durban, where the xenophobic attacks started.
Official reports say that so far no Botswana citizen has been hit by the attacks. Enditem