Butha-Buthe clinics on top of the heap

Butha-Buthe clinics on top of the heap

Rose Moremoholo

BUTHA-BUTHE – A recent survey conducted by the Ministry of Health has identified Butha-Buthe district as the best in providing health services in Lesotho.

The Demographic Health Survey (DHS) was conducted during the 2014/2015 financial year. The survey is conducted every five years.

Mohale’s Hoek was judged the poorest in the survey.

Speaking at an award giving ceremony in Butha-Buthe last Friday, the Director General in the Ministry of Health, Dr ’Nyane Letsie said Buthe-Buthe had set a high standard in providing good healthcare to the community.

Letsie said a report written by the village health workers was outstanding.

The nurses’ outreach programme in which nurses go out to the community at least three times a week was also a very good initiative, she said.

Seboche Hospital, which is in Butha-Buthe district, was selected as the best in giving urgent services to pregnant women.

Butha-Buthe Hospital is the first hospital in Lesotho to receive a Viral Load Machine, which counts the amount of virus in a human body, from donors.

Health professionals have already been trained on how to use the machine.

“When hands work, they never make a mistake, that’s what we have seen in this district. You have outdone yourself and we celebrate your victory as a district,” Letsie said.

The Butha-Buthe Hospital manager, Dr Lebohang Shao, said it is through hard work and determination by all health care providers in the district that this was achieved.

Butha-Buthe has two hospitals and 10 clinics distributed evenly in the district.

Shao said the clinics’ work is a success because of village health workers.

“During the years 2014/2015 when the DHS made the survey, we had our own evaluation and monitoring survey in 2015 where we realised our strengths and our weaknesses,” Shao said.

Shao said it is during this evaluation that they realised that at least 61 percent of pregnant women deliver at a health care facility and 51 percent of them go for their anti-natal clinic check-ups.

“We want to go up to 70 percent by the end of this year because we care about the health of both the mother and child,” Shao said.

Butha-Buthe was recognised as the best district in providing mother and baby care services. One of its clinics, St Peters, received an award as the best clinic in providing health services where 77 babies were successfully delivered during the year.

Shao said the district through the Butha-Buthe Hospital has performed well in screening women for cervical cancer.

At least 1 200 women were screened in 2015.

“This year we have gone beyond what we achieved last year, we have so far screened 1 842 women and we are looking forward to screening 3 000 women this year alone,” Shao said.

“It is very expensive to treat cancer than to prevent it hence we are working hard advising more women to come for screening so that it can be diagnosed at an early stage,” Shao said.

Butha-Buthe Hospital is also the first hospital to have a Geno-type Machine, which is used to determine differences in the genetic make-up of an individual by examining the individual’s DNA.

“It checks the type of medication fit for a patient unlike when we had to search in the dark for a medication fit for a patient and one that will not be good,” Shao said.

Shao said as a district they are still in need of more workers to do a better job.

“We need more nurses to achieve better results than we did in 2014/2015. We have proven to be the best without enough hands, what more when we have enough hands?”

Catherine Lebina, the Nursing Manager at Seboche Hospital, said as they work they do not realise that some people are watching.

“Usually when you are a provider of health services you are often criticised by patients, by relatives of patients, by management and bosses, everyone punches us all the time,” Lebina said.

“We try to do a good job. Today our spirits have been uplifted,” she said.

Lebina said they still wish for more pregnant women to deliver their babies at health care facilities and for every woman to check into a clinic when they realise they have missed their periods.

“We have at least six pregnant women who die in delivery because they had not visited their clinics because of their traditional beliefs,” Lebina said.

“This number is too much and we want to change the behaviour of people who only come to clinics or hospitals when they are going to die and the next thing (the health facilities will) be called slaughter houses,” she said.

“We want all women together with their children to be well throughout pregnancy, so we call upon all women to visit clinics faithfully,” Lebina said.

Lebina encouraged health care service providers in Butha-Buthe to support each other and stay as the best.

The Butha-Buthe MP, Motlohi Maliehe, said they were very happy that the efforts by the district are being acknowledged.

“We have seen people from other districts coming to Butha-Buthe to get health services, especially Seboche Hospital, saying it is the best hospital,” Maliehe said.

“We earned this award and we are prepared to keep it, while other districts work hard to be where we are we will work even harder to move to a better position,” he said.

’Mantoetse Mohatonyane, the Deputy Minister of Health, said health service providers are hard workers who are usually not recognised for the good work they do.

“Today Butha-Buthe has given us a smile we need. A smile that gives us hope and courage that we are on the right track,” Mohatonyane said.

She said other districts should learn what Butha-Buthe is doing right so they can copy.

“I urge all public health workers to go out of their offices and do what they are called to do, that is to attend to the public where it is,” Mohatonyane said.

“You are not to stay in offices, your work is out there to the people,” she said.

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