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Minister decries treatment of patients

Lijeng Ranooe

HEALTH minister, Nyapane Kaya, has decried the ill-treatment of patients by medical practitioners at some of the country’s health institutions, saying they needed to urgently change their attitude to ensure patients are given quality care in the fight against diseases including tuberculosis (TB).

Mr Kaya made the remarks while officiating at the recent launch of the TB in the Mining Sector in Southern Africa (TIMS) Community Systems Strengthening (CSS) Framework in Maseru.

The CSS Framework is aimed at achieving improved health outcomes by identifying interventions targeted at key affected populations (mineworkers, ex-mineworkers, families of miners and communities living near mines) and community actors including community based organisations.

“I’m worried about the reports that I am getting about the nurses who do not treat our patients well; quality health care is a major concern and it is vital that we deal with this urgently,” Mr Kaya said, adding, “It is the first step in providing medical system in our country”.

The framework report notes the need for Lesotho to enhance its strategies of addressing health education and related issues on TB, TB/HIV and occupational lung disease as well as education on the processes of accessing compensation services for victims of TB.

Mr Kaya said that, “As early as next year we hope to launch a strategy that will scale-up on TB prevention”.

“A lot of work needs to be done with regards to treatment and awareness of TB in the community level.

“The issue of community awareness and education needs to reach everyone and no one should be left out. It should be noted that the government embraces this agenda.”

“I’m also glad our strategy addresses the key human rights and gender barriers as they contribute to the missed cases of TB. It is with this guiding framework that communities will be involved in spreading awareness about the right to health to safety at work and post-employment, right to information about TB, HIV and silicosis.”

For her part, TIMS Country Coordinator Lesotho, Selloane Mamathule Makhotla explained that, “TIMs emerged from a recognised need for a regionally coordinated response to the burden of TB and related illnesses in mineworkers, ex-mineworkers their families and peri-mining communities”.

“The project is implemented in 10 Southern African countries over a two-year period beginning January 2016 to December 2017 and the second phase will start in January 2018 to   December 2020 and it will be funded by the Global Fund with US$22 million for all 10 countries.”

“The four identified strategic objectives for this CSS Strategic Framework include, promoting accountability among duty bearers and meaningful engagement of TIMS key populations and communities, building the capacity of all community actors in community systems strengthening and service delivery, establishment and implementation of mechanisms for evolutions,” Ms Makhotla said.



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