The Minister of Health Mr. Nkaku Kabi on Tuesday said the donation of bikes was a shot in the arm and “will be used by health workers to carry out primary health care activities across Lesotho. They are going to be used by sample transporters to transport medical samples between the health centres and the hospital laboratories, and take the results back.”
Basotho face the scourge of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and cancer coupled with renal disease. The country introduced the Test and Treat programme in the past few years and the challenge is to provide the best medical care to its people given the terrain. There is also no admission programme for patients who have to travel from the other end of the country just to access services of a dialysis.
The Riders for Health Program has helped in upscaling response regarding the turnaround time for diagnosis of HIV and AIDS, TB and that would be cut in half with reliable transport systems.
Mr Kabi hailed the relationship with the funders - Riders for Health UK - which he said has been in existence for 25 years and without whose generous help the planned health services would not be easy. He wished for the relationship to grow stronger so that Basotho, especially those who leave in the rural areas, who are not able to access all the health benefits, are made easy with Riders for Health support.
“Sometimes it is not easy to do the work because of the few number of vehicles we have, and the number of days that we have to wait to access a car that has to go for service,” Mr. Kabi said.
When handing over the donation earlier to the Ministry of Health, the Team’s Chairperson, Mr Paul Hocking who also rides for Health II Trustee commended that coming from a privileged country like England, it is difficult to understand how health services are delivered in a country like Lesotho since the terrain is a challenge.
According to Ms Mahali Hlasa, the Director of Riders for Health, without proper transport, the health services will not be able to get to the people. “It will not be easy for the ministry to buy a vehicle for every individual working in the Ministry of Health. So the motorbikes are going to help each health worker have their schedule, plan their work appropriately, and be able to deliver the services they are expected to deliver within their respective communities.”
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