According to a document produced by the ministry, there is a growing consensus that the poor performance of the health sector in Lesotho is a critical issue facing the country, which is a consequence of its political instability.
The document states that along with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in terms of the human development indicators, Lesotho’s performance needs to improve significantly if the vision contained in the country’s key planning documents, such as its vision 2020 statement and its National strategic development plan II are to be realised.
Mr Maqelepo said it is for this reason that Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro’s led coalition government has committed to a three-year programme to improve accountability within the public sector.
He noted that the need to improve the health sector performance has long been recognised, adding that the ministry has over the years undertaken a number of research studies to understand and explain service delivery patterns with a view of informing the ministry’s strategy and programming.
“This research tradition continues although with little success in relation to improving programme outcomes. Generally, all these studies indicate that the provision of health services has over the years declined,” he said. Lesotho faces a disease burden dominated by HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) together with other communicable diseases and maternal, new-born and child health diseases, which account for the majority of the disease burden.
As of 2013, HIV/AIDS, TB, diarrhoea, lower respiratory infections, other infectious diseases, and neonatal disorders accounted for 62% of the disease burden across the entire population.
Among children under 5 years, neonatal disorders, infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS and nutritional deficiencies constituted 85% of the disease burden.