Lesotho: Our Impact

 {Photo credit: BLC staff/MSH.}Chief Motleleng of Thabang village shares a book with his four-year-old grandson, Tsoanelo.Photo credit: BLC staff/MSH.

Lesotho is the only independent state in the world that lies entirely above 1,000 meters, and Mokhotlong is the highest of the country’s ten districts. Mokhotlong’s extreme climate and terrain pose significant challenges to children’s nutrition, development, and well-being. Rugged mountains, some impassible by vehicle, and frequent snow cover during the winter months limit access to health services, education, and a balanced diet.

 {Photo credit: Moroesi Makhetha/GROW.}A health worker weighing a child, Mokhotlong district, Lesotho.Photo credit: Moroesi Makhetha/GROW.

More than 180,000 vulnerable children in Lesotho, a mountainous country, are in need of essential services such as health care, access to education, and psychosocial support. Nutritional deficiencies and conditions are a challenge because of widespread poverty, food insecurity, and inadequate access to services. In addition, community health workers, health facilities, and local civil society organizations sometimes lack basic equipment to assess child nutritional status.

{Photo credit: MSH/Johanna Theunissen}Photo credit: MSH/Johanna Theunissen

Thousands of children in Lesotho will soon have a brand new pair of shoes on their feet, some for the first time in their lives, thanks to an on-going partnership between Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and TOMS Shoes. 

Momotaung holds Sabelo. {Photo credit: J. Mavudze/MSH.}Photo credit: J. Mavudze/MSH.

In rural Lesotho, Momotaung wakes up early to prepare for a trip to the hospital for her checkup, a hospital two hours away from her home. On her way, she stops to pick up an elderly neighbor’s child, a three-year-old orphan named Sabelo---one of 12 siblings and cousins being cared for by their grandmother. She collects three other children from the village also needing care at the hospital.

Mr. Sello Lechesa, a pharmacy technician and RxSolution user in the ART pharmacy at Maluti Adventist Hospital. {Photo credit: MSH staff/Lesotho}Photo credit: MSH staff/Lesotho

Lesotho’s pharmaceutical sector faced two formidable challenges: the unreliable supply of essential medicines and the unknown quality of medicines circulating in the country. Inefficiencies within the supply chain system were at the root of both problems, specifically weak information management systems that did not support decision-making in the supply chain.

Dr. Catherine Mundy.Dr. Catherine Mundy.

Laboratory services are a necessary but sometimes neglected element of a strong health system. From disease control and surveillance to patient diagnosis and care, laboratories are central to public health. Where laboratory services, policies or strategy are lacking, a comprehensive systems approach can improve a nation's infrastructure and capacity to manage and finance laboratory systems.MSH spoke with Dr.

Three senior staff members of the Lesotho Department of Social Welfare work together at the MSH leadership development training. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

Social workers in Lesotho have traditionally faced challenges related to isolation and poor coordination at all levels. Leadership and management capacity at the national and district level needs improvement to bolster the profession’s credibility in the eyes of service users. As a result, social work has been generally perceived as an after-thought rather than an integral part of public service.