THE government is committed to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) agenda by ensuring that the health sector offers universal health coverage to all Basotho, the Minister of Finance, Moeketsi Majoro said yesterday.
Dr Majoro said this in his budget speech which he presented in parliament yesterday in Maseru. He said the government was committed to achieving 100 percent health coverage by 2020.
He said this would be achieved by improving accessibility and affordability of health services through the decentralisation of public health care.
Dr Majoro said to this end, health posts would be built all over the country and the target was to ensure that there was at least one health post per electoral division.
“This will reduce long distance travel to health centres which is acute in the mountainous districts of Mokhotlong, Thaba Tseka, Qacha’s Nek, Quthing and parts of Mohale’s Hoek,” Dr Majoro said.
He said the emergency services had also fallen behind and to rectify this, an emergency services policy would be drafted and approved during the 2018/19 financial year.
Dr Majoro said government would also work to reduce the maternal mortality by increasing immunisation coverage from 68 percent to 90 percent by 2020 and increase the number of women giving birth in hospitals from the current 77 percent to 90 percent in the same period.
He also said the government would step up efforts to reduce the HIV and AIDS prevalence with the focus being on preventative measures.
Dr Majoro also revealed that a cancer treatment centre will established soon in the country.
He said the government had already drafted a Radiation Protection Agency Bill which will culminate in the establishment of a specialised agency that will oversee the operation of the Cancer Treatment Centre.
“The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will provide the necessary capacity building to ensure effective management of the Radiation Protection Agency,” he said adding that Lesotho would host the 12th Stop Cervical Cancer in Africa conference in July 2018 through the Office of the First Lady in collaboration with the Princess Nikky Cancer Foundation.
Princess Nikky Onyeri is a Nigerian cancer advocate who collaborates with local organisations on various cancer related projects.