MOTEBANG Hospital in Leribe district recently received a shot in the arm from the Chinese government which donated M100 000 worth of medical equipment.
Chinese Ambassador, Sun Xianghua, made the donation which included gowns, heaters and scrubs.
Dr Xianghua said the donation was in response to pleas for basic medical equipment, adding his government acted after consulting Chinese doctors and the hospital administrators.
“This donation may be humble, but I hope it will provide the much-needed help before the hospital is fully equipped,” Dr Xianghua said.
He also said China has been sending medical teams to Lesotho since 1996 to provide specialised services to Basotho.
To date there have been 11 medical teams and 130 Chinese doctors who have attended to at least 500 000 Basotho. The current team is composed of eight doctors.
Dr Xianghua said that the current team had treated 11 000 patients and carried out 700 surgical operations since arriving in Lesotho last October.
He thanked the Ministry of Health and Motebang Hospital for the support they had shown the Chinese medical team, saying,
“Whatever the Chinese medical teams have achieved wouldn’t be possible without your understanding and support”.
For her part, The Leribe Health District Manager, Malitaba Litaba expressed gratitude for the Chinese assistance.
She said that the hospital could not function well for few weeks due to a shortage of equipment.
“It is very unfortunate that as a country we are having shortages of medical supplies including the basics that enable us to provide daily services,” Dr Litaba said, adding they also faced staff shortages after three of the hospital’s six doctors left.
Hugues Makanaa, doctor at the hospital, told the Sunday Express, that they lacked capacity to provide quality services to all the patients.
“In the outpatient department alone, one doctor to 100 patients which is very difficult to manage,” Dr Makanaa said, adding the quality of service had decreased as result.
He said the presence of the Chinese doctors had improved the situation especially in the maternity ward.
“We have two gynaecologists from the medical team holding the fort in the maternity ward and two others in the out-patients and radiography departments.
Health Minister, Nyapane Kaya, expressed his gratitude to the Chinese Embassy.
“We truly appreciate this gesture as it shows that the Embassy of China through the able leadership of Ambassador Xianghua has compassion for Basotho.
“They saw a gap in the provision of health services at this hospital and reacted swiftly to ensure that the Chinese doctors and their Basotho colleagues are capacitated with the necessary resources to provide effective and quality health services,” Mr Kaya said.
Mr Kaya said although the presence of the Chinese Medical Team and the donation had improved the situation, more needed to be done to upgrade Motebang into a regional hospital.
“What we are witnessing today is the beginning of this journey. There are other renovations going on to install the dialysis unit and this is another step towards enhancing service delivery,” Mr Kaya said.