Bank hands over M1.2m for Covid-19 ward

Bank hands over M1.2m for Covid-19 ward

MAPOTENG-Forewarned is forearmed, so says an English proverb.
Only when we have knowledge of possible danger would that give one some tactical advantage.

With the Covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc across our borders, it would be an act of prudence to prepare for the coming “storm”.
That appears to have been the driving force behind Standard Lesotho Bank’s massive M1.2 million donation of an Intensive care Unit (ICU) ward on Tuesday.

The donation was handed over to the Maluti Seventh-Day Adventist Hospital in Mapoteng.

The ward is equipped with five beds with non-invasive ventilators, patient monitors and examination lights to assist critical patients.
The donation is meant to assist Lesotho in its battle against Covid-19 and treat critical patients even after the pandemic is over.

The Maluti Seventh-Day Adventist Hospital becomes the second institution in Lesotho to house an ICU ward after the national referral hospital, Queen ’Mamohato Memorial Hospital.

Speaking at the hand-over ceremony the bank’s Marketing Manager Manyathela Kheleli said the pandemic is wreaking havoc across the world which calls for collaboration to save lives.

Kheleli said it was critical to join the fight since all will be affected by the pandemic.
“The bank has invested M1.2 million in furnishing the ICU ward that will be used to assist critical Covid-19 patients,” Kheleli said.
“Even beyond the pandemic this facility will continue to benefit Basotho,” he said.

He added that the bank holds close the words that say the greatest wealth is health.
“It is only when Basotho are healthy and are able to work that the economy of the country and the bank can grow,” he said.
The bank also donated 182 thermometers to the Christian Health Association of Lesotho (CHAL) that will be used to screen patients and visitors in all CHAL facilities.

The CEO of CHAL, Lebohang Mothae, said it has been months since the world started battling with this crisis.
“Because we are part of this world we knew that Lesotho would not be spared,” Mothae said.

“We learned from December that this virus would become a pandemic. The rate at which infection numbers increased, the manner the virus spread and the difficulty in caring for its victims showed that we were headed to a battlefield,” she said.

Taking into consideration the capabilities of Lesotho’s health system, she said, they knew it was going to be costly and challenging to prepare for the fight against the virus.

“We also knew that after Berea Hospital was announced as a frontline hospital in this battle, when the going gets tough because of the proximity of the hospital, Maluti will see an influx of patients coming here.”
“We decided to knock on doors asking for assistance. We are grateful that Standard Lesotho Bank did not only open its doors to us but pledged to assist us.”

The result being the facility we are launching today, equipped with ventilators, medical disinfectants and patient monitors, Mothae said.
Maluti is the first of CHAL’s hospitals to have such infrastructure.
The Director General at the Ministry of Health, Dr Nyane Letsie, said it is imperative to reaffirm the existence of Covid-19 and advise the public to observe precautionary measures.

Dr Letsie said Basotho should no longer be in denial about the existence of the virus as it has not only infected Basotho but also because the number of infections is increasing at an alarming rate.

She said most cases are those detected at the village level. She said this calls for strengthened systems to identify and report the arrival of individuals coming from outside the country.
“It is only when we can get that right at that level that we can win this fight,” Dr Letsie said.

“Help us identify suspects to avoid viral spread because you are the first to know, we only know in the end.”
Dr Letsie said although there is an ICU ward at Queen ’Mamohato it is important to have many wards so that when the going gets tough many patients will be able to receive proper care.

“In Berea Hospital we are going to have an ICU ward with eight beds, with that addition we are certain that Berea will be able to serve all of north (-ern parts of the country),” Dr Letsie said.

Fako Moshoeshoe, who is the chairman of the parliamentary social cluster, said CHAL hospitals do an exceptional job when it comes to caring and treating patients.

He said health workers should be provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and subvention funds to assist them to better handle the pandemic.


Moshoeshoe said it is infuriating that Berea Hospital has been identified as a frontline hospital but to date does not have the necessary equipment and facilities like an ICU unit because of the public servants’ incompetence.
“This means we are not getting it right, it means a lot of lives are in danger as it is,” Moshoeshoe said.

Nto Moakhi, Deputy Minister of Health, said the country has a serious resource challenge in the health sector.
“If we had the financial muscle every district would have an ICU facility to treat critical patients,” Moakhi said.

He said for a long time Basotho were too relaxed and that has to change as the numbers are increasing at an alarming rate, meaning “a raging storm is going to hit us soon”.

“Our first line of defence before medication or vaccine is discipline. If we can master that by observing and practising precautionary measures we will win the war,” he said.

Staff Reporter

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