Assessment of the burden of critical illness in a rural Botswana hospital with the use of an early warning score
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Critical care in Africa is restricted to major centres which are located in urban areas. This is also the case in Botswana where the 15 critical care beds in the public sector are concentrated in the two referral hospitals in the main cities. The only two private hospitals with ICU are situated in the capital. Most of the population however accesses the health care system through one of the primary or district hospitals that lack critical care services. These hospitals depend on referring severely ill patients but transfer services are poorly developed and the distances are long. Some patients are too unstable to be transferred and need to be resuscitated first, for which adequate resources are lacking as well.