MASERU — The Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) says is evaluating bids for the health sector projects that are scheduled to begin early next year.
The MCA, a United States programme that fights poverty, is currently involved in several projects to strengthen Lesotho’s health delivery system.
Khalaki Sello, an engineer with the MCA, on Friday said they were currently evaluating bids to determine the most suitable firms to construct the health infrastructure.
He said the project has been divided into three bids for the Botsabelo complex, outpatient department package and the health centres package.
The Botsabelo complex will see the MCA build a central laboratory, a blood bank, student and staff quarters for trainee nurses at the new Lepereng referral hospital which is under construction in Maseru.
The second bid will see the MCA rehabilitate 14 outpatient centres at hospitals dotted around the country.
The third bid will see the rehabilitation of 137 health centres around Lesotho.
Companies that win tenders will be expected to renovate up to 30 health centres each, according to Sello.
“We expect to award tenders to the most suitable companies in September. We are currently involved in the evaluation process,” Sello said.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation in 2007 awarded US$362.5 million to Lesotho to improve the country’s water services, health sector and improve the private sector development.
The programme is expected to run until 2013.
Under the MCA compact, Lesotho’s health sector was awarded US$122.3 million to finance projects that include the rehabilitation and renovation of 138 health centres.
The funds are also to be used in the construction of anti-retroviral clinics in selected hospitals.
The construction of the health centres is expected to be complete by 2012.
“Companies from all over the world were eligible for the bidding process,” Sello said.
He said one of the conditions for the MCA compact was that the bidding for the construction process should be open to all companies with advertising for the tenders being done globally.
“Before the projects were advertised local contractors were sensitised on the requirements of the projects,” he said.
He said local construction companies had been advised to merge with bigger companies to increase their chances of winning the tenders.
‘Malehlohonolo Motlalane, a public outreach officer with the MCA, said the organisation was determined to ensure Basotho have adequate health facilities throughout the country.
“The the ultimate goal of the MCA is to make sure that people have good health infrastructure,” Motlalane said.
“Companies must have the necessary resources and capacity to be able to deliver.”
The MCA is also involved in the development of Lesotho’s water sector with a total of US$164.03 million having been allocated to the sector.
It is also involved in projects to develop the country’s private sector.
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