In line with its goal to achieve Universal Health Coverage, the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged the Government of Lesotho to refocus its efforts on prioritizing investment in government-funded public health functions and investing in primary health care.
The World Health Representative to Lesotho, Dr. Richard Banda stated this recently during the launch of Integrated Health Service delivery in Thaba Tseka District in Lesotho led by the Ministry of Health.
While reiterating the commitment of WHO to attain Universal Health Coverage, he explained that to make health for all a reality, all people must have access to high-quality integrated services for their health and the health of their families and communities.
“Vulnerable groups and marginalized populations should not lack access to lifesaving health services. More investment is needed in scaling up community engagement as a key component of people-centered health systems. Ensure good health systems are rooted in the communities they serve.”
“Good health systems focus not only on preventing and treating disease and illness but also on helping to improve well-being and quality of life. We strongly believe in empowering communities and ensuring their meaningful engagement in decision-making. More investment is needed in scaling up community engagement as a key component of people-centered health systems.”
He further called on health facilities to strengthen their relationships with local communities by routinely providing a level of service that satisfies patients.
“Such relationships will help to advance health-improving, cost-saving imperative: local health workers must be able to educate their communities to maintain health and avoid illness. Success of integrated services will also require good working conditions and availability of motivated skilled health workers providing quality people-centred care.”
Dr Banda stated that WHO and its partners are working alongside the government to address health system bottlenecks that impede access to quality integrated health services.
“WHO is committed to working with the government and other partners to implement our shared commitments to UHC and stronger health systems for everyone. Investing in health is imperative for economic growth and poverty reduction. Good health will help lift many from poverty, so that they may lead productive lives, lives with dignity, equity, and opportunity.”
Speaking during the launch, the Minister of Health, Mr. Selibe Mochoboroane stated that the Integrated Health Services programme is aimed at improving health service delivery in the country.
“Health services delivery has to be strengthened at the community level and if we are able to prevent it at the community level, our hospitals will not be congested. Continuous trips to hospitals symbolize our failure to do our job in the community,” said Mr. Mochoboroane.
He, however, appreciated the WHO for providing guidelines on how to use available resources to implement the program.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO) – Lesotho.