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Shortage of equipment hampers health services

Ntsebeng Motsoeli

MASERU — Lesotho nurses last Tuesday marked International Nurses’ Day amid complaints over poor working conditions and shortage of medical equipment.

Speaking during the occasion at the National Health Training College (NHTC), head of post-basic nursing programmes ‘Mamaema Ramaema said the unavailability of essential facilities was hampering health workers’ duties.

She said the shortage of human resources remains a huge barrier to appropriate access to health services in many parts of the world.

“It is important to acknowledge that nurses are significant drivers in increasing access and equity in health care delivery systems,” Ramaema added.

“I therefore make a humble plea to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to provide means by which nurses’ interests and needs can be articulated and dealt with accordingly.”

The celebration which was held under the theme ‘Closing the gap, increasing access and equity’ saw the official opening of a clinical skills laboratory at the NHTC.

The lab will be used by student nurses to practice medical procedures prior to attending clinical assignments.

Ramaema said commemorating International Nurses’ Day was a chance to celebrate nurses’ contribution to health care and the society at large.

“Nurses, you are the cream of the country’s health care system. Always strive for excellence and exceed clients’ expectations in all your endeavours,” she said.

She added that the ability to access health services was key to improving the health, well-being, and life expectancy of all.

However achieving this fundamental requirement remained a challenge.

This is the first clinical skills lab since the establishment of the NHTC in 1989.

The institute’s director general, Dr Shahida Tarr, said the lab would help improve the performances of nurses when they enter the workplace.

“It has been the intention of the college to establish a clinical skills laboratory for the nursing department so that students can have an opportunity to learn, rehearse and be competent with clinical skills before their actual encounter with patients at the work place,” Tarr said.

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