China pledges M400m for new hospital

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Limpho Sello

HEALTH delivery in the country is set to improve after the Chinese government pledged 200 million yuan (about M400 million) for the construction of Maseru district hospital.

This was revealed by Health Minister Molotsi Monyamane who told the Lesotho Times that the grant would be extended in terms of the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

The sixth FOCAC summit was held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 3-5 December 2015 and Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged US$60 billion worth of investment in Africa.

Dr Monyamane said the Chinese government had committed to assisting African countries to revive their health sectors by helping them to construct 100 hospitals of different sizes depending on the need of each country.

“They said governments must choose the type of hospitals they need and Lesotho requested the construction of Maseru District Hospital that will be situated at Queen II premises,” Dr Monyamane said.

He said the choice of Maseru had been influenced by the realisation that there was a large population in the district which was well over 400 000 and as such it was imperative to boost health delivery.

“In Maseru we have too many people yet we lack health services and people end up causing congestion at Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital (QMMH).

“QMMH was intended to be a referral hospital but because there are no options most people use it as the hospital of first instance when seeking medical treatment,” Dr Monyamane said.

He said once completed the new hospital would accommodate people from neighbouring areas such as Berea and Mafeteng to also reduce congestion at QMMH.

“Upon completion, the hospital will have several departments such as orthopedics, trauma centre, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), obstetrics, gynaecology, paediatrics, eye specialists and a rehabilitation centre,” Dr Monyamane said.

He said the Lesotho Medical School would also operate at the new hospital and National University of Lesotho (NUL) students would conduct their practicals there as would new doctors ahead of their deployment to other districts.

Dr Monyamane also said the hospital would serve as headquarters for online medical service where supervision of health practitioners and nurses around the country will be conducted as well as the compilation of data.

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