THE Chinese community in Lesotho recently donated 18 water tanks and medical equipment worth M400, 000 to the Motebang Hospital and local communities in Leribe.
Some of the water tanks will be used to alleviate water problems within the local communities while Motebang Hospital in Hlotse, will also receive some of the tanks to help improve operations at the health facility.
Operations at Motebang Hospital will also greatly improve following the receipt of medical equipment and drugs.
Through the China-Lesotho People-to-People Friendship Action Fund, the Chinese business community donated the water tanks while the 12th Chinese Medical Team deployed at the hospital since October this year, donated the medical supplies.
The handover ceremony which was held at Motebang Hospital was graced by Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane; Ministers Nyapane Kaya (Health); Samonyane Ntsekele (Water); Motlohi Maliehe (Forestry and Land Reclamation); Keketso Sello (Mining and also Hlotse Member of Parliament) and Temeki T?olo (Prime Minister’s Office). Also present were Deputy Ministers, Halebonoe Set?abi (of Foreign Affairs) and T?ehlo Ramarou (Public Works and Transport). The Principal Chief of Leribe Joel Mot?oene and Principal Secretary of Water Emmanuel Lesoma also attended.
For a long time, Leribe district has experienced water problems leaving some communities without water for months. Water shortages have also affected operations at Motebang Hospital at a time when the institution is expected to manage the bulk of cases referred from other health facilities in the Northern region to cut down on referrals to Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Prime Minister Thabane said he was encouraged by the long-standing mutual friendship between Basotho and the Chinese who have continued supporting Basotho in various areas of development.
“It is through mutual understanding that countries befriend each other and as government, we value our friendship with the People’s Republic of China,” Dr Thabane said adding, “We embrace this friendship and this voluntary assistance given”.
“It takes more than 14 hours to fly from China to Lesotho and our friends travelled that distance to come and work with us, helping in various ways. We are grateful for the act of friendship to help improve the water situation and to boost Motebang Hospital operations,” Dr Thabane said.
Also speaking at the event, the Leribe District Health Manager, ‘Malitaba Litaba said the medical supplies would help the hospital to manage many of the cases that were being referred to Maseru due to lack of equipment.
“We appreciate the support we have been receiving from the Chinese medical teams deployed in Lesotho in the past 20 years. Each time a team is here, they bring along some medical supplies to help the hospital,” Dr Litaba said.
On his part, the Chinese ambassador to Lesotho, Sun Xianghua, said they saw it befitting to give gifts of water tanks and medical supplies during this festive season.
He said the donation will contribute to long and healthy productive lives in the Northern region.
“As you all know, water is life while good health is a guarantee of quality life, therefore our answering to the water crisis and helping to improve the health system of this region will go a long way in putting smiles on the faces of people here, particularly during this Christmas and New Year holidays,” Dr Sun said.
“As of 1997, over 240 Chinese medical practitioners have been deployed at Motebang hospital, each year performing an average of 1,000 surgical operations.
“Until now, the Action Fund has been providing different types of assistance to the communities across the country and I am optimistic that in future, we will achieve a lot through our cooperation,” Dr Sun said.
A local Chinese businessman, Chen “Malome” Xing delivered his speech in Sesotho saying, they helped Basotho because they regarded themselves as part of the local communities.
“Here we operate various businesses, working with the local communities. As a result, what affects Basotho also affects us. When we started experiencing water problems, I called on my fellow Chinese businessmen, as well as the embassy, to devise ways to help alleviate the water crisis,” Mr Chen said.
“We may be from different worlds but since we are staying here, our neighbours are also our friends. Friends help each other in addressing various needs and work together to protect the items provided to ensure they go a long way.”
In his vote of thanks, the Health Minister, Mr Nyapane Kaya said, medical donations will continue to help improve operations at Motebang Hospital.
“Earlier on this year, we again received an enormous quantity of medical equipment from our Chinese friends and now with the addition of water tanks, not forgetting the dedicated medical team, this will bring much relief to many people in this area,” Mr Kaya said.
He said the medical equipment will help to sustain the rhythmic walk towards regionalising Motebang hospital, expected to be a reality soon.
“This achievement will increase the quality health services provided here and go a long way in reducing number of referrals to Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial hospital in Maseru. The water tanks will complement operations by ensuring an efficient provision of health services.”