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COVID-19 capsule arrives in Lesotho


Ntsoaki Motaung

The Ministry of Health has initiated the deployment of Antiviral medication for COVID-19 patients, made possible through a collaborative effort between Jhpiego and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Antivirals, specifically Molnupiravir Capsules 200mg, will be distributed to individuals showing COVID-19 symptoms at health facilities.

This endeavor is part of the Test To Treat (Test2Treat) project, spearheaded by Jhpiego and funded by USAID.

Selibe Mochoboroane, the Minister of Health, made a fervent call to Basotho, urging them to undergo COVID-19 testing to access necessary medication, ultimately preventing fatalities.

Mochoboroane stressed the importance of embracing educational programs initiated by the ministry to create awareness about this vital initiative.

“In the past three years, Lesotho, like the rest of the world, grappled with the formidable challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Countless individuals fell ill, and many lost their lives,” he articulated, highlighting the severity of the situation.

He highlighted the nation’s implementation of multifaceted strategies to combat the virus, including extensive health education on transmission, emphasising practices such as hand hygiene, mask-wearing, and avoiding crowded places.

“We fortified protection measures against COVID-19 by providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to healthcare professionals. Our endeavours also aimed at ensuring widespread vaccination and securing adequate oxygen supplies for patients. Additionally, we bolstered health facilities with essential equipment for Intensive Care Units (ICUs), in collaboration with the government and donor partners,” he affirmed.

Despite the collective efforts, Mochoboroane acknowledged the persistent challenges posed by the pandemic.

“Even though we’ve taken substantial steps in combating COVID-19, the recent surge in cases since September signals a prolonged battle,” he lamented.

To counter this, he announced a pivotal measure: the government procured Antiviral Molnupiravir Capsules 200mg, a treatment that mitigates illness severity and reduces COVID-19 transmission rates.

“This treatment is particularly crucial for individuals exhibiting severe COVID-19 symptoms, especially those at higher risk due to age or underlying health conditions such as TB, respiratory illnesses, heart diseases, diabetes, HIV, among others,” Mochoboroane stated.

He underlined the significance of prompt testing and subsequent treatment for anyone displaying COVID-19 symptoms.

Ian Membe, Deputy Country Director of USAID, emphasised that the initiative’s primary goal is to bolster public health services, further underscoring USAID’s unwavering dedication to advancing global health projects.

“At this juncture, our focus revolves around emergency preparedness, ensuring our health facilities are well-equipped with essential resources such as trained personnel, adequate oxygen supply, and necessary equipment to support anyone in need,” Membe asserted, stressing the criticality of readiness during emergency situations.

Nyikadzino Mahachi, Country Director for Jhpiego, commended the accomplishments of the vaccination program while highlighting a broader commitment to equality in service provision.

“As we draw the curtains on the vaccination program, we celebrate numerous achievements, notably the increased coverage of the COVID-19 vaccine,” Mahachi stated.

He reiterated Jhpiego’s dedication to ensuring equitable access to services, emphasizing the organization’s commitment to providing healthcare services irrespective of geographical location, educational background, or societal status.

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