Massive financial boost for Ministry of Health

Massive financial boost for Ministry of Health

MASERU – THE Ministry of Health has been allocated a staggering M2.5 billion for the 2018/19 financial year, against last year’s M2.1 billion.
Asking Parliament to allocate funds to his ministry, Health Minister Nkaku Kabi said the funds are critical to ensure the nation’s good health.
“The good health for pregnant women and children, people with tuberculosis, people who are infected with HIV and Aids and those who have cancer,” Kabi said.

“As the ministry, we have to make sure that they are living a better life by helping them with support and medication.” In the 2017/18 fiscal year, the health sector was allocated about 12 percent of the national budget. The extent of the allocation remained almost the same over the last six years.

The average proportion of allocation to the health sector, over the period between 2013/14 and 2017/18, was 11.94 percent of total expenditures.
Last year’s recurrent budget for the ministry was M1.8 billion while the capital budget was M280 million.
The ministry has already used over 92 percent of its capital budget.

For this financial year the ministry’s capital budget is M477.8 million. The government has contributed M188.7 million towards the ministry’s capital budget while development partners contributed M289 million. The ministry told parliament that it has several capital projects this year that include TB Control Programme, immunisation and construction of Maseru District Hospital among others.

The ministry will also build the Cancer Treatment and Management Centre and the National Drug Supply Organisation (NDSO) warehouse.
The warehouse will cost M107.2 million while the Cancer Treatment and Management Centre will cost M35.5 million, which will come from the government directly.

The government will contribute M10 million towards the building of the Maseru District Hospital while other funds will come from the Embassy of PR China. Other capital projects include the Health Sector Reform, Support to Reproductive Health, Support to Laboratory Services and Southern Africa TB and Health System Support.

Addressing Parliament, Kabi said the ministry has “some platforms for teaching people about good health for everyone”.
“It is our duty to make sure that every person has tested for HIV and Aids and gets treatment if it is needed,” he added.
Kabi said the ministry also has to see to it that everyone is tested for cancer and also start undergoing treatment before it’s too late.
“Dealing with all these needs a lot of money because we have to give these people lessons about cancer and HIV and the importance of testing before somebody gets ill,” he added.

“We have a lot of work to do that requires millions. We have trained health workers in Qacha’s Nek, Mokhotlong, Berea and Thaba-Tseka,” he said.
Kabi also said around 31 percent of men in selected areas have been circumcised this year.
He said 90 percent people who willingly showed up have tested for HIV and 77 are using ARV’s.

Thooe Ramolibeli

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