Sunday Express

Lesotho ranked the unhealthiest country

Mohalenyane Phakela

THE Global Competitive Index 2018 report has ranked Lesotho the unhealthiest country in the world with the least score of 11, 9 percent and healthy life expectancy of 43, 8 years.

The international body also ranked Lesotho 130th out of 140-member countries in terms of the economic performance.

The Global Competitive Index report further ranks Lesotho 136th spot out of 140 countries for the high rate of homicide which is at 41, 2 percent. The report ranks the country’s infrastructure 134th country, 131st for its poor roads while its air transport is ranked the least efficient.

The country is ranked 119th for exposing residents to unsafe drinking water while it also ranks 127th for its unreliable water supply.

Lesotho’s poor primary education is also 113th out of 140.

The labour market is one of the worst performing sectors as the cooperation in Labour-employer relations ranks 137th while the flexibility of wage determination lowers it to the 134th spot.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report of 2017 also agrees with the Global Competitive Index and further indicates that most deaths in Lesotho were caused by HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, cardiovascular diseases, diarrheal diseases, neoplasms, neonatal disorders, self-harm, violence, chronic respiratory diseases, transport injuries, diabetes, urological, blood and endocrine disorders.

CDC further recorded that by June 2016, 24, 6 percent of the population between 15 and 49 years was infected with HIV, further recording the Infant mortality rate at 59 out of 1000 live births.

“The government of Lesotho adopted universal treatment of persons with HIV (test and start) in April 2016,” the statement read.

“The country is committed to achieving the UNAIDS goal of 90-90-90 by 2020 (90 percent of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90 percent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained treatment, and 90 percent of all people receiving treatment will have viral load suppression).

“Through the United States’ President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the CDC Lesotho office aids help the MOH implement an effective national HIV programme. This has contributed to saving the lives of men, women and children through HIV treatment and a comprehensive combination prevention strategy. Using a data-driven approach, this strategy is tailored to the unique characteristics of the epidemic in Lesotho for maximum health impact.”

The Director of Primary Health Care in the Health Ministry, Thabelo Ramatlapeng said that the country has adopted the Universal Health Care to reduce the statistics of unhealthy people.

“It is true that we have high rate of deaths which are mostly maternal while others are attributed to the likes of HIV and AIDS and other diseases.

“We noted with concern that most deaths were due to the fact that other patients lived far from health facilities therefore would not get medical attention as often as required. Therefore, we have this year implemented the new framework under the Universal Health Care which will ensure that every citizen has access to primary health care regardless of the location.

“We are also installing village health posts in the different electoral divisions and by the end of the year we will have erected at least 50. The reason is to bring health services close to communities and to be able to monitor the progress of our patients to ensure that they stop treatment when they are completely healed.

“We have also intensified the training of community health councillors and ensured that they have the necessary equipment they need to treat patients. A nurse from the area’s health centres also visits to assist at village health posts. At the health centres we have also increased number of nurses based on the area and ensured that a doctor visits at least once a month,” Dr Ramatlapeng said.

Sunday Express

Sunday Express

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