The government of Lesotho in partnership with the American Embassy has officially launched facilities for the Postgraduate School of Family Medicine.
The ceremony was held in Hlotse, Leribe districts on Friday.
When launching the school, the Deputy Prime Minister, Justice Nthomeng Majara said this centre indicates the improved Primary Health Care in the country, adding that the Family Medicine Program has brought hope to the nation and the health care professionals, particularly medical doctors.
Justice Majara said she is aware and encouraged that the main goal of the program is aligned with one of the current government priority areas like strengthening primary healthcare through the capacity building of doctors, clinicians and other professionals.
She said the launch of the centre shows that they will attain their desired goal of having an improved health sector across the country.
The Minister of Health, Mr. Selibe Mochoboroane said the launching of this centre is a success of some of his ministry’s mandates.
“You would recall that during my budget speech, I said the priority is strengthening primary health care, the second is building a cancer hospital, the third is strengthening QMMH which is the only referral hospital that we have and lastly I said is the establishment of the medical school,” Mr. Mochoboroane said.
He said during his budget speech he noted that the last priority of the Ministry of Health is the priority without resources.
Also speaking, the American Ambassador to Lesotho, Mrs. Maria Brewer said the medical school opening is a sign that the government of Lesotho cares about its citizen’s health.
She said their, dedication, hard work and vision have made this possible, noting that together they are forging a healthier future for Lesotho.
She said as they are officially launching the postgraduate medical school, they should remember that it is not only the physical structure but the symbol of their shared commitment to the health and well-being of the people of Lesotho.
In conclusion, she noted that they will continue to support Lesotho in development like this.
The introduction of Lesotho Boston Health Alliance (LeBoHa) is the result of the long-term relationship between Lesotho and the United States of America.
Boston University School of Medicine, Prof. Brain Jack said with no medical school, the government pays more than ten students per year to go to medical school outside the country and they highly ever return.
Prof. Jack said when they started in 2004 there were 130 doctors, about 30 were Basotho and all were in Maseru, saying learning this he spoke to a lot of younger doctors who were attending school in South Africa and elsewhere about why they did not return to Lesotho.
He noted that they told him that they send them to the mountains and they are all by themselves with no support, no opportunities for teaching or research and poorly functioning clinics hence the launching of the school.
He said they are proud to assist the Ministry of Health in strengthening the health care system and developing programs to strengthen the health workforce that are sustainable within the ability of the government.
The LeBoHa offers a four-year postgraduate program in Family Medicine and a two-year internship program. 177 medical doctors have enrolled and 112 graduates and none of the graduates has left the country.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Government of Lesotho.