Information for Patients
Lesotho adopts a Primary Health Care approach with the government operating half of the country’s health care facilities. The Ministry of Health is also responsible for the development of health care policies, strategies and programmes within the country. The Christian Health Association of Lesotho runs approximately 40% of the hospitals in the country, which mostly located in the rural area, and the rest is managed by NGOs and the private sector. The healthcare sector in Lesotho relies heavily on public funding, with a small source of funds coming from donors. Compared to other Sub-Saharan Africa countries, patients in Lesotho spend less on out-of-pocket payments.
Information for Health Care Professionals
Hospitals at village level are mostly supported by volunteer community health workers, such as traditional birth attendants, distribution agents and water minders. Health Centers usually employ nurses, nursing assistants, or clinicians who are able to diagnose and prescribe. District hospitals expect all staff to have received appropriate qualification. Both Sesotho and English are the official language of Lesotho, with Sesotho being the most widely spoken language in the country. Insufficient numbers of health professionals in several cadres and the inability to produce select cadres of staff is a huge challenge to Lesotho’s healthcare system. Medical specialists from Bloemfontein in South Africa sometimes consult and operate in Lesotho on a regular basis.
Information for Travellers
The general lack of access to medical diagnosis and treatment in Lesotho encourages its people to seek medical help in South Africa. Lesotho, in fact, is one of the countries in SADC that sees the greatest numbers of patients seeking medical services in South Africa. People planning to travel to Lesotho are recommended to receive multiple vaccinations prior to their trips, including Measles, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Rabies, Yellow Fever and Routine Vaccination.
Link to the Ministry of Health: https://www.gov.ls/ministry-of-health/