IN March when Lesotho’s only referral hospital, the Queen ’Mamohato Memorial Hospital commonly known as Tšepong axed over 340 nurses and nursing assistants who demanded salary hikes and COVID-19 allowances, the hope of overcoming the raging pandemic was almost shattered.
May 6, 2021
3 min read
Hope restored in the health sector
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The move actually caused quite a stir in the already tentative health sector.
There were no guarantees that the remaining staff would be able to cope with the demanding needs of COVID-19 patients, especially those who were hospitalised at the health facility.
The nurses had for ages been seeking a review of their salaries, but the hospital was just not ready to bend over backwards and meet them halfway.
But after the unrelenting health facility kicked the picketing health workers out, the Minister of Health, Semano Sekatle came to the party, to save the day.
He pledged that the government would engage some of the sacked health professionals at certain state controlled hospitals and clinics spread across the length and breadth of the country.
True to his word, on May 1, the first batch of nurses and nursing assistants returned to work with big smiles on their faces like Sekatle had suggested.
The nurses themselves were too happy to be working again, after being left out in the cold for over a month.
According to the Secretary General of the Lesotho Nurses Association (LNA) Ntomby ‘Mamonica Mak’hozonke Mokhesi, the bulk of the nurses will resume work next week Monday and will be deployed in some of the country’s hard to reach health centres.
In a bid to further supplement government’s efforts to eradicate the pandemic, a conglomerate of successful local private businesses that calls itself Sesiu sa letšoele le beta poho recently secured 200 000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines
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This is a huge shot in the arm for the government that is trying all tricks in the book to ensure that the pandemic which is ravaging millions of people in other countries remains under control within our shores.
The members of the consortium need a pad on the shoulder for a job well done and for their leading role in helping the government’s COVID-19 immunisation programme.
The outfit which was solely formed to augment the acquisition and roll-out of the national COVID-19 vaccine programme for all private sector corporations that make up the fund’s consortium is made up of Alliance Insurance, Standard Lesotho Bank, Nedbank Lesotho, Econet Telecom Lesotho, Metropolitan Lesotho, LSP, Data Net Lesotho, Pick ’n Pay Supermarket, Comnet, FNB Lesotho, Letšeng Diamond, NB Holdings and Specialised Insurance Company.
With Sesiu sa letšoele le beta poho’s immense contribution, the government’s initiatives to rid Lesotho of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects are beginning to take shape.
There is also hope that other local companies will come on board and to add on to the consortium’s fund in order to reach a larger section of the population.