Berea, Lesotho, April 16, 2021: Chargé d’Affaires Clinton “Tad” Brown and Dr. Lucy Mapota-Masoabi, Director Clinical Services at the Ministry of Health officially handed over four oxygen concentrators to the Berea Government Hospital in Teyateyaneng on April 16, 2021. This equipment donation is part of a consignment of thirty-six oxygen concentrators that have been distributed across nineteen health facilities. It was made possible through the generous support of the American people as part of the global response to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The oxygen concentrator donation demonstrates the United States government’s broader efforts to support the health and well-being of the Basotho people and specifically to strengthen Lesotho’s ability to fight COVID- 19. It builds on the strong relationship that has spanned for over half a century. Over the past year, the United States government has provided $5.25 million (approximately 81 million Maloti) to the COVID-19 response in Lesotho, focusing on COVID testing, clinical care, surveillance, and vaccine preparedness. In addition to the oxygen concentrators, the United States Department of Defense (DoD) has coordinated donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies to aid frontline healthcare workers and testing supplies to increase Lesotho’s testing capacity. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) supports the Ministry of Health by training health care workers in COVID-19 critical clinical care; supportive supervision of health facilities; and district-specific planning and rollouts. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided critical technical assistance to strengthen infection control, surveillance, and laboratory activities across Lesotho. During the ceremony, Chargé Brown noted, “This equipment handover underscores the underlying reality that COVID-19 is still a very serious health challenge…we all must remain vigilant in our efforts to counter this devastating pandemic. Each of us still has an important role to play – from frontline healthcare workers across facilities like the one we’re at today to ordinary Basotho from Tele to Mechachane. We cannot afford to be complacent, especially with warnings of a possible third wave by international health experts. Everyone in Lesotho has to contribute to the national efforts.”
On behalf of the Government of Lesotho, Dr. Lucy Mapota-Masoabi thanked the United States government for its unwavering support as the global community battles COVID-19. She remarked, “This donation comes at the right time; we lost patients due to a lack of equipment. We pray a third wave does not hit our country, but we must be prepared…this equipment is vitally needed for our response. This is not only helpful for COVID but for our general health system.” The American people have been steadfast partners to the people of Lesotho, and remain committed to that partnership, especially during these very challenging times.
Note: To read the full remarks by Chargé d’Affaires Clinton “Tad” Brown at this event, please click here.
For more information, please contact the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in Maseru via email at NkhahleRA@state.gov or TsiameST@state.gov.