Majoro launches M800 million Maseru District Hospital
PRIME Minister Moeketsi Majoro yesterday officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the M800 million Maseru District Hospital and Eye Clinic.
The important project is being funded through a grant from the People’s Republic of China. On completion, it will help at least 400 000 people in Maseru and other districts.
Dr Majoro said the facility would provide improved health services mainly the treatment of both communicable and non-communicable diseases.
He said the 200-bed hospital will be a modern facility operating as the second referral hospital after Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital (QMMH), relieving the latter of its ever-increasing patient load.
“The new M800 million hospital will be a modern facility that intends to provide improved health services to the residents of Maseru and other districts,” Dr Majoro said.
“In particular; it will provide services including eye care, cancer treatment, tuberculosis, HIV and non-communicable diseases.”
The hospital, featuring state-of-the-art medical equipment, will also have training facilities and dormitories for trainee doctors and nurses, the premier said.
Since the hospital is being constructed under Chinese government aid, a Chinese construction company, Shanghai Construction Company, had been commissioned to build the hospital.
“This is one of the many projects that China has assisted Lesotho with. I am happy to inform you that the contractor has experts who are going to start the construction today (Wednesday), and 100 Basotho will get jobs from the construction of this hospital.
“Construction is expected to take 30 months and it is therefore, expected that the hospital will be completed by 2023, ready to start admitting patients. Once completed, current employees of the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital, currently operating from the Basotho Enterprise Development Corporation (BEDCO), will be absorbed as employees of this hospital. They will be complemented by the Chinese Medical Team which is currently based at the Motebang Hospital in Leribe,” Dr Majoro said.
He added that the Ministry of Health was also planning to train 20 more health workers to compliment staffers currently stationed at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital currently operating from the BEDCO premises in Kubetsoana.
Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to Lesotho, Lei Kezhong, said the hospital would provide advanced medical services to patients and improve the livelihoods of Basotho.
He added that the Covid-19 pandemic had brought Lesotho and China closer than before.
He said the strengthening of bilateral ties were in line with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s emphasis, during the June 2020 Extra Ordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against Covid-19, that China and Africa must commit to fighting the pandemic together.
“Under this initiative, we are going to pair up China Wuhan Hospital of Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine with Maseru District Hospital. The two hospitals will form a strong partnership in providing better medical services to our Basotho friends,” Mr Kezhong said.