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UNDP bolsters fight against COVID-19

UN Resident Coordinator Salvator Niyonzima

Oct. 19, 2020 2 min read

2 min read

IN a bid to strengthen the national response to COVID-19, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Lesotho has officially launched the Bophelo-ka-mosebeletsi mobile application and handed over mobile gadgets to village health workers.

The handing-over ceremony was held at the Villa Maria healthcare facility in Quthing on October 15.

Speaking at the event, the UN Resident Coordinator Salvator Niyonzima said as a strategy to prevent and control COVID-19, the UN system supports and continues to build the capacity of community based structures as community leaders and village health workers to take an active role in detecting suspected cases and monitoring those who have been exposed.

These structures, he said have benefited from the capacity building efforts supported through the UN.

Mr Niyonzima said the equipment such as non-contact thermometers were procured for use by village health workers in some districts, therefore congratulating the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNDP for investing in village health workers.

“This group of health professionals plays a key role in controlling the spread of the virus within communities across the country,” he said.

He noted that both the technical and technological capacities will facilitate a speedy response using real time information.

Despite numerous development challenges, he expressed his pleasure at the fact that the country is taking advantage of the high mobile connectivity to respond to the pandemic.

He added: “The application has the potential to change the face of community health systems and contribute to Lesotho’s journey to building back better, beyond the pandemic and beyond the health sector.”

He however, showed that one of the major challenges ahead will be to improve digital skills and literacy in order to enable effective use and access to social and economic opportunities and bridge the gap between rural and urban communities.

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Minister of Health Motlatsi Maqelepo

For his part, the Minister of Health Motlatsi Maqelepo said he is confident that the use of the application and gadgets in communities, and particularly the village health workers has the potential to transform the technology landscape in Lesotho.

He said his ministry has always wanted to strengthen the village health programme as it plays an important role in his ministry in order to ensure that it creates resilient and responsive healthcare systems.

On behalf of both the government and the village health workers, Mr Maqelepo thanked the partners for their unwavering support to the ministry.

Early this year, the UN mobilised USD1 million to strengthen community health response to the pandemic through a collaborative initiative between WHO, UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA.

With the application, Lesotho has joined a group of African countries which are using innovative technology to fight the pandemic.






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