Lesotho inks pact with Apollo Hospitals

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Kidney transplant, oncology focus areas

The Government of Lesotho is keen on working with Apollo Hospitals in key priority areas of kidney transplantation and oncology, Prime Minister of Lesotho Motosoahae Thomas Thabane, said.

At the inauguration of a two-day International Proton Therapy Educational Programme organised by Particle Therapy Cooperative Group (PTCOG) and Apollo Proton Cancer Centre on Friday, he said that they signed a memorandum of understanding with Apollo Hospitals in 2016 for provision of specialised healthcare services for cancer and other conditions that could not be managed by health facilities in Lesotho.

“Control of non-communicable diseases is the major priority of the current coalition government. In June this year, we initiated the implementation of the agreement,” he said, adding that cancer and kidney patients were sent to Apollo Hospitals for care.

“The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) was new to proton therapy when we had to handle it for the purpose of licensing that is mandatory,” said S. A. Bhardwaj, chairman of AERB.

They looked at layout, equipment to be used, qualified people and quality assurance, he added.

Satisfied with the hospital’s performance in launching the project, he said, “You (Apollo Hospitals) go beyond the demands of regulatory activities. Learning from institutions like you and others, we are going to grossly simplify our regulatory procedures and they are on the anvil. You will be self-regulating. We will only be seeing the final result when you start commissioning,” he said.

Cancer awareness

Prathap C. Reddy, chairman of Apollo Hospitals Group, said, “Cancer is curable. We need to work hard, especially physicians and government, to educate people on prevention and early diagnosis so that people can go back and lead a normal life.”

Diana Phoebe Atwiine, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Uganda; Jay Flanz, chairman of PTCOG; Preetha Reddy, executive vice chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Group and Suneeta Reddy, managing director, Apollo Hospitals Group, spoke.

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