The Russian government yesterday donated medical equipment worth M10.7 million to Lesotho to help strengthen the country’s healthcare system.
Russian Ambassador, Mikhail Petrakov, handed over the equipment which included 210 laboratory sets, 290 diagnostic sets, 330 surgical equipment, 250 sets of intensive-care equipment, 280 obstetrics and gynaecology sets, 80 sterilisation equipment and 60 immobilisation sets.
Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, who received the equipment during a handover ceremony held at the Queen Elizabeth II Clinic in Maseru, thanked the Russians for the generous gesture, which he said would improve the country’s healthcare system and further strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two nations.
Dr Thabane further said the equipment came at an opportune time when the need to improve service-delivery was critical.
“We are grateful that you are here because you would like to contribute towards tackling challenges around lack of medical equipment in our country. This gift could not have come at a more appropriate time,” Dr Thabane said.
Dr Thabane, who was born at Queen Elizabeth II at a time it was a national referral hospital, said he was lucky to have been born under quality care and good medical facilities, which he said was no longer the case for some babies.
“That is why receiving a gift of this nature is a rare gesture that should be greatly appreciated and commended,” he said.
Dr Thabane said Lesotho, which is a member of the International Civil Defence Organisation (ICDO), was indebted to the Russian Federation Ministry for the Affairs of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters which donated the equipment.
According to Ambassador Petrakov, the equipment was a show of the friendship that exists between the two governments and comes from the heart of the Russian people. He further explained the friendship dated back “many years” when the two countries were collaborating in the fight against colonialism.
Ambassador Petrakov further said the medical equipment was also another way of collaboration to ensure a healthy Basotho nation.
“We understand when people are in good health, they are able to perform well in everything. We would like this medical equipment to help promote good health among the people of Lesotho,” Ambassador Petrakov said, adding more gifts were coming.
“There are two more donations coming before the end of this year.
“We are concerned about food shortage in Lesotho and would like to help strengthen food-security in this country.”
In his address during the handover ceremony, the ICDO Secretary General, Dr Vladimir Kuvshinov, said Lesotho “will not struggle to operate the equipment since several workers have been trained on how to use this modern apparatus”.