Improving access to quality healthcare services in Lesotho

Improving access to quality healthcare services in Lesotho

Improving access to quality healthcare services in Lesotho
Improving access to quality healthcare services in Lesotho

World Health Organization (WHO) - Lesotho

13th June 2024, marked a significant milestone in Lesotho’s healthcare history as Maseru District Hospital and Eye Clinic, a specialized hospital equipped with advanced medical equipment and resources designed to provide top-notch healthcare services to the Basotho people, opened its doors to the public. This was borne as a result of a collaborative effort between the Government of Lesotho, and the Chinese Government with technical support from the World Health Organisation(WHO).

Speaking during the inauguration the Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Sam Matekane said “This state-of-the-art facility is a testament to our shared vision and commitment to enhancing health services in Lesotho”.

“I am convinced that this facility is equipped to provide quality outpatient and inpatient health services to Basotho thereby significantly reducing the need for Basotho to receive medical treatment outside the country. This hospital among others will provide services at the level of a regional hospital,” he says.

The Minister of Health, Hon. Selibe Mochoboroane also commits to improved healthcare at the new hospital saying, “I want to promise Basotho nation that they are going to receive the best healthcare treatment in this milestone. The equipment installed in this hospital compels us to provide the best services possible”.

In her remarks, the WHO Country Representative, Dr. Mary Stephen highlighted the importance of the Maseru District Hospital and its impact on the region’s healthcare system.

“This development is set to remove the need for our citizens to seek medical treatment abroad, ensuring that high-quality care is available right here at home. In addition to its clinical services, the hospital boasts of training facilities and dormitories for trainee doctors and nurses, fostering the next generation of healthcare professionals in Lesotho”, says Dr. Stephen

She expressed WHO’s commitment to supporting the Government of Lesotho to provide quality healthcare services to the people. “We are keen to collaborate and continue providing technical support to the Ministry of Health in Lesotho as it endeavors to improve healthcare services for all.”

In a related development, efforts have been made to improve service delivery in the mountainous terrains of Mokhotlong and Thaba Tseka districts through the integrated health service delivery model, supported by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO).

 Mokhotlong, with its 102,184 residents, and Thaba Tseka, home to 137,347 people, are characterized by high mountains and deep valleys, making travel arduous. The health facilities were scattered and poorly coordinated, leading to gaps in care and services. Communities faced low immunization rates, frequent infections, and high dropout rates for treatments like tuberculosis (TB).

The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with WHO, envisioned a health system where services were seamlessly integrated and accessible to all, regardless of geographical barriers. The goal was to ensure that every individual received continuous care, from health promotion and disease prevention to diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up.

WHO and other partners conducted training for frontline workers. 42 healthcare professionals from Mokhotlong and Thaba Tseka districts learned about integrated service delivery, focusing on coordinating care across different levels and services. This training equipped the health workers with the skills and knowledge needed to provide comprehensive, people-centered care.

 “With this integrated health service delivery, there has been improved access to healthcare in this community. In effect, the District Health Management Team got transport from Lesotho Highlands Development Authority to support Molikaliko Health Centre to provide integrated services at Taung village in celebration of Nurses Week. Taung is an hour’s drive from Molikaliko Health Centre”, says Lineo Mati, a nurse in the Mokhotlong district.

The Ministry of Health and WHO’s efforts have not only improved health outcomes but also transformed communities, making essential medical services more accessible and equitable.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO) – Lesotho.