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Lesotho health system under threat

Seboche Roman Catholic Church Hospital in Botha-Bothe

July 10, 2020 4 min read

MASERU - The Lesotho health system is under threat and faces a serious strain if the number of Covid-19 infections continues to rise, with the country now nearing a triple digit registration.The latest developments, which have seen a number of health facilities as well as other public service institutions temporarily suspending services, has even forced the government of Dr Moeketsi Majoro to dispatch members of his cabinet across the country to rally the nation to support measures and regulations put in place to curb the spread of the Corona virus in the country.

...Makoanyane Military hospital operates at 75% capacity

Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) public affairs office, through the ministry of defence has informed the nation that due to the prevailing health situation in regard to the spread of COVID-19, some of its services to the public will be closed down.

“…the LDF Command regrets that the defence force medical facility, the Makoanyane Military Hospital (MMH) has scaled down the services it provides under normal situations.

“Given the obtaining medical situation, the MMH is now operating at 75% capacity, and the LDF command has been forced to make a conscious decision that health services provided at the facility shall limit to only the LDF personnel and their immediate family members,” the army command statement explained.

It continued that this decision has been done in a quest to maintain effectiveness and efficiency of this health facility to cater for the LDF personnel on forward deployment areas and those on routine duties, amidst challenges of acute shortages of medical stocks and overstretched resources the defence force is experiencing now.

“The LDF command is also aware that the challenges besetting the MMH are now a commonplace in other national health facilities, and therefore came up with a plan to ease pressure on the latter, and quarantine and isolation facilities have been duly arranged for the LDF personnel who might be exposed to the virus,” said the statement further adding that the LDF command pledges to lend its support to all national initiatives to combat the spread of COVID-19 at all times and reaffirms its commitment to work in close cooperation with all health institutions in the country.

The statement went further to emphasise that the LDF remains committed to its constitutional mandate to safeguard the lives of the Basotho against this debilitating disease amidst all these challenges and encouraged all to continue to abide by all prescribed safety measures and WHO protocols and guidelines to curb this pandemic.

The Makoanyane Military hospital joins other health facilities in the country following the earlier suspension of services in a number of hospitals after the discovery that some of their staff members were suspects of COVID-19. Amongst those hospitals which have temporarily suspended services, was Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital, where the Public relations officer Mothepane Thahane indicated that the only affected wards will be closed.

Their earlier released statement indicated that two members from their team have tested positive for COVID-19, and they are from the paediatrics and surgical departments. 

Thahane said both departments will stop admitting new patients while tracking and tracing as well as all other required processes continue, to follow up on who else should be tested. The affected team members were reported stable.

Similarly, Tebellong hospital in Qacha’s Nek has also temporarily suspended services. Some of the daily services offered by the hospital will be suspended until further notice, the hospital reported, further encouraging patients to go to the nearby healthcare facilities for general services, while the hospital will attend to emergencies, patients for refills, maternal cases and children under the age of 5 only.

Also Seboche hospital in Botha-Bothe district reported three positive Covid-19 cases in its facility, in which one is an employee of the hospital. The hospital said for this purpose of contact tracing and screening, the management had effected temporary measures to suspend services in order to ensure safety of  the employees and general public until further notice.


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From their statement Coalition of Health Professionals Association (HPA) notifying members about COVID-19 infection stated that they have colleagues who tested positive and were well taken care of, adding one was asymptomatic while the other has started to display symptoms but both were stable.

The statement further stated that the association is working tirelessly with the ministry of health to ensure safety of all members and also pledged 100 percent support to the families and friends affected.

This news comes while HPA is at the struggle to achieve among other things, the provision of proper Personal Protective Equipment against corona virus, consideration of sick leave policy in the era of COVID-19 and training related to COVID-19, where the ministry of health has made a pledge and commitment to achieve all the above.

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