Working towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) three in ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages, the Government of Lesotho (GoL) has through the Ministry of Health granted the Lesotho Millennium Development Agency (LMDA) authority responsibility to manage the implementation of the Health Care Facilities Maintenance Programme.
The programme as stated by Director General (DG)-Health Services, Dr ‘Nyane Letsie during the Health Sector Joint Review Meeting is meant to ensure sustainability of the health systems and infrastructure constructed and refurbished under Millennium Challenge Account (MCA)-Lesotho Compact I in the Financial Year 2017/2018.
The theme of the meeting entitled, “Universal Health Coverage Towards People Centred health care delivery”, sets a platform for health stakeholders to jointly review progress towards attaining agreed goals and objectives of the past fiscal year as well as mapping a way forward into improving the health sector and the lives of the people.
At this meeting, issues of multi-sectoral approach also formed part of the discussion for the annual meeting that was not hosted for the past two years due to imposing challenges and the progress made on the LMDA maintenance pointed to among other challenges, availability of water that is still a challenge in several facilities and availability of power including power engine in times of bad weather that are also challenges in some facilities.
It was during the same meeting that the DG said most facilities rarely receive maintenance support from LMDA since such services are not prioritised with the respective facilities, adding that there also inadequate renovation support and the lack of maintenance support for many facilities.
Considering Lesotho’s progress with regard to SDGs, the Ministry of Health has through the support of Partners in Health (PIH) piloted the reform strategy in four districts of Leribe, Butha-Buthe, Mohale’s Hoek and Berea with the goal to build health system resilience and sustainability through three core strategies which include delivery of quality services, systems to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC), strengthened health system management and, Professionalized Village Health Worker (VHW) Program.
Also speaking was the LMDA Chief Operations Officer, Mr. Lira Molapo who said the report showed government’s inability to sustain the maintenance through the Public Private Partnership (PPP), hence LMDA’s intervention which he said came up with a strategy to maintain the facilities established during the MCA Compact I.
He said the aim is to support the government in its developmental endeavours through the implementation of the Health Facilities Sustainability Programme.
Mr. Molapo added that LMDA intends to go beyond the health sector and include all entities that benefitted from Compact 1 so to facilitate maintenance of the facilities and the programme scope which he mentioned encompasses the environmental aspects by focusing on the HealthCare Risk Waste (HCRW), Disease Vector Control (DVC), as well as incinerator maintenance repair and replacement among others.
Mr. Molapo however, commented that the maintenance is reactive due to budget constraints thus imposing challenges that include late renewal of a one-year scope by the government, saying this led to LMDA not coming up with long-term contracts. Another challenge as he mentioned was the late allocation of funds by the Ministry of Finance that affected procurements and contracts.
Meanwhile, the meeting identified bottlenecks that hindered progress however mapped a way forward towards facilitating proactive maintenance of the facilities.
Source: LENA 04/12/2018