Botswana is situated in the Southern part of Africa bordering with Zambia and Angola from the North, Zimbabwe from the North and East, Republic of South Africa from the South and East and Namibia from North to South. Its population density is 3.5 persons/square kilometer.

Botswana is generally a flat country that has a semi arid climate.  The rainfall pattern is scanty which ranges between 10 – 65 centimeters and from time to time it experiences frequent droughts.

The major religion of the Nation is Christianity with different denominations. Setswana is the language spoken all over the state.  The literacy rate is over 80%.

Botswana has a population of 2, 024,787 million with a sex ratio of 96 males/100 females.

Botswana is a fast growing developing nation with a well laid infrastructure throughout the entire country such as roads, schools, health facilities, communication media, building structures and other social welfare services.  The democratic process followed by its leaders and the people has helped the country to progress rapidly.

Some time back the health service delivery was shared between the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Local Government, currently all public health facilities are under the Ministry of Health.


Botswana National Cancer Registry

The Ministry of Health with the assistance of the International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR) established a National Cancer Registry under Diseases control in 1999 as a means of surveillance system and to:

  1. Determine the incidence of cancer in the country
  2. Map the distribution of cancer.
  3. Identify potential risk factors involved in cancer
  4. Evaluate cancer treatment, control and prevention programme
  5. Encourage epidemiological research on cancer

Since then the first cancer report came out in 2005 declaring that 2000 cases of malignant cancers (women 56.7%, men 43.3%) were registered from 1986 to 2004.  Currently we have reached more than 16000 cases(2012).

The Botswana National Cancer Registry (BNCR) which is a population-based cancer registry collects information on demographic, risk factors, treatment and care of cancers in the whole country through its referral and district hospitals using:

  1. Cancer Notification, laboratory, death certificates forms
  2. Copy of discharge abstracts from hospitals
  3. Scheduled visits of referral hospitals and other sources of data by registry personnel to abstract any information missing in a cancer patient’s file.
  4. Electronic source -  from Integrated Patient Management System(IPMS)
  5. Interviewing of patients in Oncology Clinics and In-patients


Contact Person

Dr Malebogo Kebabonye-Pusoentsi  MBBCh BAO MPH
Ministry of Health Botswana
Depart of Public Health Non Communicable Disease Program
Telphone: +267 72306355/363 2444



The Non-Communicable Diseases Programme is staffed with the following members listed below.  Since Cancer Registry is one of the activities of the programme every one has a role in:  educating the public, data collection, data process and dissemination of information on cancer.

Photograph left to right : Ms. L. Mogorosakgomo,  Ms. Sinah Gulubane,  Mrs. Bame P. Shatera,  Dr. Heluf. Gessesse Medhin, sitting  is  Ms. S. Motlogi




Ms. S. Motlogi

Principal Technical Officer

Cancer Registry- data collection, refining, entry

Ms. L. Mogorosakgomo

Principal Technical Officer

Cancer Registry- data collection, refining, entry

Mrs. Bame P. Shatera

Principal Health Officer

NCD Programme, Cancer Registry - Supervision, data entry

Ms. Sinah Gulubane

Principal Health Education & Promotion Officer

Facilitate health promotion activities through communication, advocacy, and social mobilisation

Dr. H. G. Medhin

In charge of NCD Programme

Cancer Registry - Supervision, analysis


Registry area


The recent Population and Housing Census which was done in 2011 shows that Botswana has a population of 2, 024,787 million.


Cancer Management


Cancer cases are managed mainly in referral and district hospitals, as well in primary hospitals all over the country.


Method of Registration; Data Management

Cancer data is collected from the two referral hospitals (PMH, NRH) and the radiotherapy department of Gaborone Private Hospital by 2 of our Principal Technical Officers. They collect information from different their departments, pathology labs, health statistics unit and the IPMS.  It is coded and entered into CanReg4 software by the same staff members. Since Cancer is not a notifiable report, the active data collection increases stress to the limited manpower working in the registry.


Data Analysis

A portion of the data from 2004 – 2008 was analyzed and the most prevalent cancers seen in the Female and Male population were:


Publications and Reports


An official cancer report covering for years 1998-2008 is out and is disseminated to stakeholders. Short reports and tables on cancer situation in Botswana were produced and given to individuals, academic institutions, and international organizations.