Dolen receives grant for COVID response in Lesotho

Dolen in conjunction with volunteers from the Betsi Quthing Partnership has  been successful in gaining two grants for a project with the Family Medicine Speciality Training Program in Leribe. The FMSTP is the only postgraduate training for doctors in Lesotho, and currently has 11 senior doctors on it, who are all in leadership positions across 6 Districts.  

This project is based on the specific requests from the doctors. It has several elements:

  1. Provision of some PPE and basic equipment (oximeters/ thermometers)  for the 11 Registrars and their facilities
  2. Staff Wellbeing Service: based on the COVID19 service set up in March in the Best Cadwaladr Health Board by the Clinical Psychology service for NHS staff, which offers one to one and group sessions online/ phone to support frontline staff deal with the personal and professional impact of this challenge
  3. Educational sessions through distance learning.
  4. Provision for an  in-country co-ordinator for the work based in Leribe.

Dolen has worked closely with the FMSTP over the last few years with volunteers from the Royal College of General Practitioners in Wales delivering mental health gap and palliative care training. The education sessions will build on this work.

Dolen Chair Dr Paul Myres said," We are really pleased to make a difference in this small way to Lesotho's COVID response. With the number of cases being identified increasing daily in Lesotho there is a definite need for more PPE, basic equipment and training.

“Some of the doctors are already feeling very stressed and there is no local support service available so we are really pleased to be able to offer this and to do it remotely" "

The money is from two emergency COVID19 funds set up by the Welsh Government and by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

New Lesotho PM sworn in

Moeketsi Majoro has been sworn in as Lesotho's prime minister following the resignation of his embattled predecessor, Thomas Thabane.

Thabane's decision to step down on Tuesday came amid mounting pressure over a case in which he and his current wife are suspected of involvement in the 2017 murder of his estranged wife. They both deny this.

Handwashing in Thaba Tseka

This project works with teachers, learners and the local community in Thaba Tseka to teach the importance of hand-washing and how to build tippy taps and set up rainwater harvesting.

This was important before the coronavirus pandemic but has now come into its own.  Our partners the Lesotho Red Cross Society have been travelling to villages, correctional units and shops to explain what the virus is and how they can help prevent it spreading. This is crucial even though there are no reported cases yet in Lesotho.

We are pleased that DFID has agreed for our programme to be repurposed for this COVID response.  This has meant that the work on hand-washing has spread further than originally intended.

Thanks also to the Waterloo Foundation which has donated towards this response.

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