MASERU — Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili on Monday officially opened the new Domiciliary Clinic in Maseru which was funded by the United States development agency Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Lesotho.
The clinic, which is situated in Moshoeshoe II in Maseru, is the first of 138 clinics to be built by the MCA around the country.
The clinic can accommodate between 75 and 100 patients a day.
It offers a host of services such as outpatient and maternity services.
Mosisili said the development of the health sector can play a critical role in the economic development of the country.
“There is nothing that we cannot achieve as long as we are united as a people in improving the economic growth and fighting poverty in Lesotho,” Mosisili said.
The prime minister said the MCA will help Lesotho achieve its Millennium Development Goals as they continue to develop infrastructure around the country to ensure better service delivery in the health and water sectors.
“We are promoting economic development through health care. A healthy nation will be able to work hard for the development of the country,” he said.
The MCA Lesotho compact is an account financed by the United States Millennium Challenge Corporation.
The corporation has pumped in US$362.5 million to improve the water and health sectors in Lesotho as well as improve the development of Lesotho’s private sector.
The water sector has a budget of US$164.03 million, the health sector has been allocated US$122.4 million while the private sector development has been allocated US$36.11 million.
Construction of the rest of the 138 health centres is scheduled to begin early next year.
Mosisili said tuberculosis and Aids were the biggest causes of the high death rate in Lesotho adding that more efforts were needed to counter the devastating diseases which hamper development.
“We all have to stand up against the spread of these two diseases which have together been behind the high number of deaths that have been experienced in the country,” he said.
United Nations aid agencies say at least 20 000 people die of Aids-related diseases in Lesotho every year.
Lesotho has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world with one in every three people in the country said to be having the virus that causes Aids.
Mosisili expressed hope that services in the health sector will improve with the building of the new clinics.
“Let us care and maintain our infrastructure and our personnel at the clinics in our villages. I also urge our health care staff to deliver high quality services,” Mosisili said.
United States Ambassador Robert Nolan said the implementation of the MCA project will help Lesotho overcome some of its challenges.
“Lesotho is a country rich in diamonds, but there is a far greater source of wealth and riches in this country that does not lie beneath the earth — Basotho people,” Nolan said.
He said Lesotho is facing numerous problems such as shortage of jobs and lack of medical treatment for treatable diseases and the scourge of HIV/Aids.
All these problems, Nolan said, hinder economic development.
“The opening of this facility is a powerful example of what can be achieved by Basotho-owned and Basotho-led development,” he said.
Nolan said Lesotho will in the next five years receive a further US$145 million under the President`s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief.