THE Standard Lesotho Bank (SLB) on Tuesday handed over M1, 2 million worth of intensive care unit (ICU) equipment to Maluti Adventist Hospital in Mapoteng.
The donation is meant to help Lesotho respond to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The equipment includes oxygen concentrators, suction machines, sphygmomanometers (blood pressure metres), oxygen circulation and temperature monitors, blood sugar monitors and non-evasive ventilators.
The ward can take up to five patients with two meant for critical patients who require ventilators.
In addition to the equipment, the SLB also donated sanitisers and 182 infrared thermometers intended for Christian Health Association of Lesotho (CHAL) and Red Cross centres across the country.
The handover was attended by SLB marketing manager Manyathela Kheleli, Maluti hospital chief executive officer Thabang Pulumo, CHAL executive director Lebohang Mothae, Deputy Health minister Ntoi Moakhi and Ministry of Health director general Nyane Letsie. The chairperson of the Parliament’s Social Cluster Committee Fako Moshoeshoe and Berea principal chief Lesaoana Peete also attended the event.
Mr Kheleli said the donation came at a time when the bank is celebrating its 25th anniversary. He said it was also timely for the bank to assist government efforts in fighting Covid-19.
“It would be wrong if we stood aside instead of folding our sleeves to lend a hand in protecting our society,” Mr Kheleli said.
“This led to the start of our relationship with CHAL and as we decided that an ICU ward would help in a big way.
“The ward will go a long way, not only during the Covid-19 period but in future to help cushion the needs of the health system in terms of costly equipment.
“In the weeks to come, we will work with other organisations and hospitals to carry forth these efforts of bringing health services to Basotho.”
For her part, Ms Mothae said although Lesotho’s confirmed Covid-19 cases were still the “we must be prepared”.
“Now that we can start combating the coronavirus here at Maluti Adventist Hospital, we are thankful and we bind ourselves as CHAL to seeing to it that Basotho receive services accordingly.
“We believe the effects of the equipment in the hospitals hands will be seen in the lives of Basotho from today as we deal with the coronavirus and beyond for patients in need,” Ms Mothae said.
On her part, Dr Letsie emphasised that Covid-19 was a reality Basotho must live with considering that Berea has confirmed cases. Lesotho has so far recorded 17 cases of Covid-19 and Berea has one case.
Dr Letsie described the occasion was historic as Maluti Adventist Hospital became the second hospital in the country to have an ICU ward.
Mr Moakhi said he expected Maluti Adventist Hospital to extend its services as far wide as possible as the health ministry is challenged in terms of both equipment and human recourses.
He also said it was imperative for health professionals to get rid of bad habits and be disciplined in fighting Covid-19.
“Before we can consider any forms of medication, if we are disciplined and if change our deeply rooted habits, we can defeat this pandemic. We must accelerate our prevention measures…,” Mr Moakhi said.
Mr Moshoeshoe exhorted the Health ministry to work tirelessly to rescue Basotho.