The Minister of Health, Mr. Motlatsi Maqelepo on Monday received four ambulances at the occasion held at the ministry’s headquarters.

Two of the ambulances from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are going to Mokhotlong and Motebang hospitals while the other two from Riders for Health in the United Kingdom (UK) will go to Semonkong Health Centre and Linakeng in Butha-Buthe.

In his remarks, Minister Maqelepo expressed his appreciation and gratitude to receive these donations on behalf of the ministry as well as the government of Lesotho.

He thanked donors for the gesture, saying this comes a long way in improving health services as the ministry is working hard to fight COVID-19 hence this will boost and help increase efforts intended to fight this pandemic.

He said it is the responsibility of the ministry to ensure that Basotho are provided with quality health services, saying currently the country’s health indicator is a bit off-track on maternal health especially in rural areas, therefore, assured that this will help enable patients to reach health centres on time.

“We have been for years supported with resources but indicators have still not gone but I am sure that these donations will improve primary health care,” he added.

He thanked UNDP for unwavering support over the years and British High Commissioner for good bilateral relations they have had for a long time.

Mr. Maqelepo called on Basotho to remember that COVID-19 is still with them, saying it is upon each individual to ensure that they are protected from the pandemic.

He urged the staff to take good care for the vehicles emphasising that they should be used for the purpose intended for.

At the same event, UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Betty Wahunona said the handing over of the ambulances is part of their contribution to Lesotho’s response to COVI-19.

She said health is a priority to them hence the ambulances to support outstations, saying she believes the community of Mokhotlong and Leribe where the ambulances are going will hugely benefit.

She highlighted that they are joining countries in Africa to fight unsafe lives against COVID-19, expressing hope that the country will curb the spread of the pandemic.

On the other hand, British High Commissioner, Ms. Anne Macro said as Riders for Health, they believe the vehicles will be helpful and reduce maternal and mortality deaths, stressing that this will go a long way in helping the communities of Semonkong and Linakeng to have access to quality health services.

She expressed happiness that the British High Commission has been able to assist Riders for Health in Lesotho and for the excellent work they do.

She added that she hopes in the next few months, services at health centres will improve for the better.

Also speaking, Public Health Director, Dr Thabelo Ramatlapeng said it is an honour to them as the ministry and recipient of these vehicles to enable them to reach all corners of Lesotho.

She said their clients have had problems of accessing health services especially emergencies where she said expectant mothers delivered at homes which later resulted in maternal deaths.

She noted that referrals have been delayed due to lack of transport, noting that these ambulances will help communities as patients are referred from health centres to hospitals.

“These donations come at a critical time when we have COVID-19 and they will help a lot in saving lives of patients thus expectant mothers, and babies, therefore, we are thankful to the donors,” she said.

Meanwhile, during the event, there was a signing of hand over certificate. The vehicles are worth over M3 million.


Source: LENA 07/12/2020

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