Located in the North-West corner of Botswana in the Okavango Panhandle, Shawake is a beautiful, picturesque place full of life. The broader community is home to more than 21,000 people and is among Botswana’s most diverse areas in terms of Batswana: Batawana, Bayei, Bahereo and Bambukushu, Basubiya, and Banoka (River Bushmen).
Regrettably, Shakawe is on the opposite end of the resource pool in part because of its distance to Gaborone (1120 Km). To support their health care needs, most villages or settlements rely on mobile clinics. Because there are so few mobile clinics in the area, people have to wait for months at a time.
Shakawe and Gumare are the centers of service to people across the river and in surrounding areas. People from far as Xai-Xai have to travel distances of almost 200 km to reach the limited services of Gumare. It can take days to arrange transport and reach those services. As a result, the accessibility of health services is steadily declining and illnesses such as HIV and TB are increasing, which is counterproductive to the many HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in Botswana.