SEMONKONG- As a land-locked country, Lesotho has many hard-to-reach areas where health services are inaccessible for many communities. Some have to walk more than four hours by foot or on horseback to reach the nearest health facilities.
Health care services in Lesotho are delivered primarily by the government and the Christian Health Association of Lesotho (CHAL). Access to health services is difficult for many people, especially in rural areas, and Haseng Health Center in Semonkong is one of those serving people who live far away from the clinic.
Manager at Haseng Clinic ‘Mamonaheng Posholi said lack of essential health services in the area is a big cause for concern in their community because many patients came to the clinic when they are already worse as they have to travel for long distances. She said some even die without medical care assistance in their homes.
She added that the country’s health system is challenged by the relentless increase of the burden of disease brought about by HIV/AIDS, and lack of expertise and human resources as they are only five nurses attending the whole area.
Even though they are trying their best to ensure quality health for Semonkong community, there is still lack of medical equipment, which usually arrives late to the centre, sometimes because of poor roads for transportation. Posholi also said some patients also have to share one ambulance for four health centers in Semonkong for the referrals and collecting patients in villages where necessary and this is another reason why Lesotho has high rates of maternal mortality.
However Posholi added that they also focus on providing mothers with essential health care services during pregnancy. They do that through trained village health workers who regularly visit the expectant mothers at their homes to check on their health, and to accompany them to health centers for care before, during, and after delivering their babies.
She also said the village health workers help them to take care of HIV patients by ensuring that they still have regular medication that they take according to doctor’s request.
She added that at the same time, they treat young children affected with HIV, tuberculosis as well as malnutrition, and provide immunization, de-worming and administering of vitamins and other food supplements.
She also said they even have outreaches in particular days, where they go to the community and provide primary health care and teach them about diseases and how they can protect themselves, especially against infectious diseases.