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Primary health care decentralised

Limpho Sello

MASERU — The Ministry of Health, to­gether with church leaders, are embarking on a decentralisation initiative to improve Primary Health Care (PHC) services coun­trywide.

Minister of Health Pinkie Manamolela said the initiative will be implemented by actively engaging District Administra­tors (DAs) who should participate towards ensuring the success of the initiative as they reside in the communities where the health centres operate.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting with community leaders in Maseru, Manamole­la said her ministry decided to incorporate them because they were in a position to reach out to the community and get a posi­tive response.

One of the key factors in the primary health care service, the meeting estab­lished, was the issue of sexual reproduc­tive health in which teenage pregnancy features prominently.

Manamolela said the involvement of church leaders would help tackle the mor­al aspect as they have access to the young people at church.
“Churches will help us more on moral is­sues as they can communicate to everyone and be heard, and especially deal with the issue of sexuality and HIV as well as teen­age pregnancy,” Manamolela said.

She said they would also help deal with social behaviour which poses health risks such as substance abuse among the youth.
“On these issues church leaders can be in a position to spread the word to prevent these ills,” Manamolela said.

Manamolela further said since church leaders live in communities they will be able to identify areas of development such as roads, water and electricity which wors­en poor health conditions within commu­nities.

Christian Council of Lesotho (CCL) chairperson, Khethang Posholi, told the Sunday Express this week that they were invited by Manamolela because health centres were deteriorating and there was need for church leaders and the ministry to work together to renew them.

“We also maintain the same stance for we believe that working together with the government will benefit the public,” Pho­sholi said.

According to Posholi, the church leaders could delve fully into the initiative by pre­senting sermons that would empower and educate the public emotionally and physi­cally.

District administrators (DAs) through­out the nation were this week given the task to coordinate data collection on how hospitals and healthcare centres are run on a day-to-day basis.

Data will be collected based on whether there was enough equipment, finances, quality management, health management information systems, among others.
Ministry of Health Financial Controller, ‘Matumaole Ramochela, told a district con­sultative meeting on primary health care this week that DAs would select people in their respective districts and make sure that work was done.

He said the data collected would be sent to the Ministry which would then estab­lish solutions and make recommendations based on the data collected. He said each district would be working within a specific deadline for data collection and analysis before sending the information to the min­istry head office in Maseru.

The meeting was also attended by church leaders, Red Cross representa­tives, Christian Health Association of Le­sotho (CHAL), as well as Christian Council of Lesotho (CCL).

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