Berea Hospital is one of the few health facilities earmarked to accommodate and treat COVID-19 patients in the country. The Minister of Health Hon. Semano Sekatle said the plant could not have come at an opportune time
when the country is facing the threat of the third wave which is ravaging the neighbouring South Africa. Although he expressed delight over this project, the Minister said it is not enough, adding that the
country needs a fully-fledged plant which will serve many health facilities. “We need a proper plant; a big one that covers the whole country,” Sekatle said.
He further challenged his Ministry to “think broadly and strategically”. According to the contractor who has built the plant, the plant has the capacity to fill 16
cylinders within the 24 hours period. It is said to fill at least 10 cylinders in 13 hours. The plant is also expected to address the empty oxygen cylinders crisis.
For his part, the Berea District Medical Officer (DMO) Dr. Liketso Mochochoko appreciated the gesture saying the plant arrived at the suitable moment.
Dr. Mochochoko also appealed to the public to adhere to the prescribed health protocols saying, “prevention is better than cure”. The DMO added that the
battle becomes heavy when one is supposed to be oxygenated. He further highlighted that the plant will remain useful even post COVID-19. The Ministry of Health
(MoH) Director General (DG) Dr.
‘Nyane Letsie said every bed should have the oxygen cylinder, adding that oxygen should wait for patients and patient ought not to wait for the oxygen. Dr. Letsie said every
health facility should have the oxygen and oximeter. Also witnessing the launch of the plant were the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative Dr.
Richard Banda who remarked that the pandemic continues to challenge the country. He said Lesotho is experiencing the resurgence as per the WHO guidelines.
Taking stock of the newly built plant, Dr. Banda said oxygen is the important component in terms of the response against the pandemic. The WHO Country
Representative said the variants around the world are easily transmittable and the humans are carriers. This he said urging the public to remain observant to
the health preventive guidelines. “We are in this together and we will overcome,” he said underscoring the need to observe the recommended health preventive measures.
The patients with severe illness require the supplemental oxygen in order to avoid acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and also loss of life in the treatment against the COVID-19 disease.