New Training Program Gives Health Workers a Fresh Outlook

By Mapalesa Lemeke | August 28, 2013

EGPAF Country Director for Lesotho Dr. Appolinaire Tiam speaks at the Partnership for Management Development (PMD) program graduation ceremony.

EGPAF

The Lesotho Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), presented certificates to 136 Ministry of Health(MOH) officials from across Lesotho after they completed a one-year Partnership for Management Development (PMD) program. The graduates included doctors, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technologists, health information officers, and health managers.

The graduation ceremony was held on July 31 at Mountain View Hotel in the Leribe district of Lesotho. Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Nthabiseng Makoae and other senior management team members from the Ministry attended the ceremony along with guests from the diplomatic mission, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

With support from USAID, EGPAF provided computers and projectors to the three highest performing districts – Thaba-Tseka, Mafeteng , and Leribe – at the ceremony so that the teams can continue to make their presentations and review their work. Performance was based on reports, activities,  satisfactory attendance, and achieving target goals.

The program’s goal is to teach health care managers the necessary skills to improve health service deliveries while fostering team spirit on both the national and district levels.  The PMD Program began in June 2012 with an initial one-week training course. The program is co-sponsored by USAID, PEPFAR, and Johnson & Johnson. The program was jointly implemented by the EGPAF, the Government of Lesotho, and the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business faculty and staff, in conjunction with the MOH in Lesotho.

At the graduation ceremony, Professor Richard Chivaka of the University of Cape Town thanked the MOH for its support during the PMD program implementation.  He emphasized that running such a complex program was difficult, but the commitment demonstrated by the health care managers made it a success.

Rene Kiamba, a representative of Johnson & Johnson, applauded the graduates, encouraging them to have a common goal and vision of a healthy Basotho Nation.  “When you come to the office,” he said, “you should always try to remember why you are in that profession and I promise you will never fail to deliver.”

Speaking on behalf of EGPAF, Senior Program Director Dr. Stephen Lee said that doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other health professionals are often appointed as managers without the necessary skills; however, the Partnership for Management Development Program has provided an answer to those areas of need.

Addressing the graduates, Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Nthabiseng Makoae noted that the PMD training is the first of its kind in Lesotho.  She pointed out that the program has increased the capacity of the health managers since its implementation in 2012,  and added that she hoped health professionals will use the knowledge they gained from this training to improve the service delivery in all health facilities across the nation. 

Dr. Makoae thanked EGPAF for the outstanding support the organization is giving to the Ministry of Health and the Government of Lesotho.

You can learn more about EGPAF’s work in Lesotho here.

Mapalesa Lemeke is Executive Assistant and Communications Officer for the Foundation, based in Lesotho.