MoH to ease vaccination data collection

By Rethabile Moshabe

MASERU

The Ministry of Health (MoH) received Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment as a donation intended to aid with data collection and capturing.  

The ICT equipment, which include 100 tablets and 11 laptops from Jhpiego and 80 more tablets from Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation (EGPAF), will be used to capture data of vaccinated population at the health centers.

These were received by the Minister of Health Hon. Semano Sekatle on Thursday.

Revealing their take in health issues, EGPAF Country Director Tšepang Mohlomi said EGPAF is one of the international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) which has, for a long time, been an implementing partner working closely with the MoH. She said starting from 2006 EGPAF supported the ministry with the national response towards HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and the emerged health thread of Covid-19 last year.

“We joined forces once again and continued with the national response to Covid-19, indeed we are supporting the ministry in all facilities throughout the country and specifically for Covid-19, we have been supportive with screening and testing since the onset of Covid-19 in Lesotho,” Mohlomi explained.

She further indicated that EGPAF has also supported at the border posts, factory outlets and tertiary institutions and throughout all health facilities. “We also supported through engagement of our national teams by sending them out to conduct vaccination campaigns. Now we extend that support through this donation which we hope will intensify data collection and reporting of immunization progress. We believe that the gadgets will expedite any backlog that we had in our reporting systems,” she said.

In his remarks, World Health Organization (WHO) Representative Dr. Richard Banda stated that so far Lesotho has vaccinated over 500 000 people, saying it is a huge milestone and success to their part because just a month ago Lesotho was among the 12 African countries that had achieved the WHO target for every country to vaccinate 10% of its population. “We hope that by the end of the year the target of 40% of population will be achieved. I applaud the government’s efforts and all the partners that assisted. We also noted that the public health and the economic impact of the pandemic is too huge globally,” Banda said.

He recommended people to protect themselves using other public health measures along with the vaccines. “This is a good gesture of a political commitment and we appreciate the response to this unprecedented outbreak and we ensure Basotho that we will work with the government and all available stakeholders to get out of this pandemic,” Banda note. 

Meanwhile, Hon. Sekatle appreciated the donation and thanked the donors for their long-lasting relationship and support.” I urge Basotho to vaccinate in numbers because we have realized that the arrival of vaccines in the country has decreased the positivity rate of Covid-19. Follow WHO health precautionary measures to act against Covid-19 pandemic as they are very essential for your health,” he said. Sekatle added that the country has vaccinated 28% of the population and 35.6 % of the WHO targeted population which is 1.6 million.