Lesotho receives offer to train health specialists



MASERU – The East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC) has called on Lesotho to join its health colleges and get its medical practitioners trained as specialists in fields of their choice. Lesotho will not only benefit from having highly skilled medical specialists which will be trained at home, but will also finally address the shortage of specialists in the country. ECSA – HC has seven health sciences colleges in the African region which offer ‘college without walls’ kind of training in the fields of obstetrics and gynecology, anesthesiology, nursing and midwifery and surgery, to mention a few. Specialists are trained from their countries of residence or a place they choose to practice at within the ECSA region.

The trainings in these various health fields are conducted by ECSA-HC approved colleges. Speaking at a media briefing on the sidelines of the 71st Health Ministers’ Conference, president of College of Anesthesiologist of East, Central and Southern Africa (CANECSA) and chairperson at ECSA-HC, Mpoki Ulisubisya, welcomed Lesotho to join their health community noting that all ECSA-HC colleges are ready and willing to work with the health faculties that are already established in the country. “We are open to work with universities, faculties, departments but, more than anything else, we need fully standing societies that will join membership to the colleges and create space through established institutions in the country where training will be offered,” he said.

He further noted that candidates will be trained in Lesotho to serve the interests of the country. “It is to the advantage of this Kingdom, if citizens of this Kingdom are trained in the Kingdom to address health issues of people of this Kingdom sustainably,” Ulisubisya noted. On the other hand, chairperson at East, Central and Southern Africa College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ECSACOG), Professor Annettee Nakimuli, said Lesotho has shown interest in joining their college. She said their college is the youngest of all ECSA-HC colleges having been established five years ago. The college’s mandate is to train specialists in obstetrics and gynecology within the ECSA region. She noted that the college currently operates in 10 countries in the Sub-Saharan region including Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

She stated that this year they are expecting four countries including Lesotho to join them. ECSA-HC is an inter-governmental regional organisation established in 1974, to strengthen regional cooperation and capacity to address health needs of member countries. The Minister of Health, Selibe Mochoboroane, welcomed the invitation stating that it will come in handy for Lesotho which is currently experiencing a sever shortage of health specialists and medical doctors. He said development of human capital in the health sector is a great and a critical issue that needs to be attended to urgently. Mochoboroane said ECSA-HC was actually invited by the Lesotho Government, seeking assistance to build a medical school in the country disclosing that Lesotho will build a medical school that will be under guidance and supported of ECSA-HC.

“There is an urgent need to develop human resource in all specialists but prioritising Obstetrics and Gynecology, Anesthesia, Surgery and Internal medicine, leading to a need for the establishment of Lesotho Medical School,” he said. Mochoboroane said one of the resolutions made at the closing of 71st Health Ministers’ Conference is to use available human resources in the health sector and empower health practitioners so that they are fully equipped to respond to health needs of the region. “We have resolved to use human resources in the ECSA region to address health issues across the region and refrain from seeking medical help from countries outside the region,” he said.

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