Africa CDC Saving Lives and Livelihoods Regional Coordinator  Dr Charles Ibeneme informed  the  Lesotho Government Minister of Health Mr Selibe Mochoboroane that he is impressed with the achievements of the COVID19 vaccination project in Lesotho.

Dr. Ibeneme informed the Health Minister during a debriefing after the AFRICA CDC  SLL Date Quality Assessment Team  (DQA) visit  to the country from June 12 to 15 the year. The DQA team consisted of members of Africa CDC and  Deloitte Limited.

He said aim of the visit was to check the progress of the SLL  project and look at the accuracy of the data that they are receiving, whether they are consistent with what was reported.

He  reported that the project which started in August 2022 and ends in August this year, has achieved the following;

  • recruited and trained community volunteers as RCCE teams in the Berea, Mohale’sHoeK, Quthing and Thaba Tseka district under the watchful eye of Lesotho Red Cross Society.
  • Have supported data capturing and entry
  • Trained and deployed data capturers/officers

Dr Ibeneme said the plan is to ensure that 100% of people with poor mobility  and 70% of the eligible population is vaccinated against in Lesotho the COVID19.

He mentioned the stakeholders of the project as being Lesotho Red Cross Society and CHAL.

He said the goal of the SLL project is to vaccinate 70% of the eligible population in Lesotho.

Ibeneme also discussed the Data Quality Assessment (DQA) process, which involved field work to observe how the implementing partners collaborated during the campaigns. The DQA focused on factors such as the number of community influencers reached and engaged, the number of people reached through RCCE (Risk Communication and Community Engagement) messages, and the number of vaccine doses administered.

In the meantime, Lesotho Red Cross Society has managed to train 354  people on Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) approaches and COVID 19 vaccine, employed 47 youth and engaged a total number of 395 community influencers comprising of political leaders, religious leaders, traditional leaders, business owners and social media influencers to inform people about Covid-19 Vaccine.

On behalf of Deloitte Consulting Ltd, Linda Isawa, the Monitoring and Evaluation officer, expressed that Lesotho is performing well in the project. She mentioned that they have also come to learn from Lesotho so that they can share their experiences with other countries implementing the SLL.

Isawa stated that the Data-Quality Assessment (DQA) exercise was a valuable experience for the in-country implementing partners. It helped identify gaps that needed to be addressed in terms of implementation. The exercise also highlighted the strengths of the implementing partners.

Additionally, Isawa mentioned that the strengths of the RCCE (Risk Communication and Community Engagement) activities included strong integration with the implementing partner and the presence of an RCCE coordinator appointed by the Ministry to oversee activities in the districts. Isawa commended the accuracy of the reported data and indicators as noteworthy strengths.

Furthermore, Isawa acknowledged that Lesotho has made progress in terms of data availability in the District Health Information System (DHIS2) system, which is a positive development. She also highlighted the presence of policies governing organizations, such as policies on information confidentiality.

Isawa emphasized the integration of the SLL partners, enabling them to report consistent data. All data collected by the teams aligns with the information reported by the Ministry of Health and the SLL program.

However, there are some gaps that need to be addressed. These include the accessibility of reporting tools in other offices and the need for Health Centers to have access to their own data instead of solely relying on the Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS). Similar issues were identified in the Divisional offices as well.

The international team, consisting of representatives from Deloitte, Africa CDC, AMREF (subcontracted CHAL), and the Botswana Red Cross (subcontracted LRCS), visited the Ministry of Health and met with the Director General of Health Services, Dr. Nyane Letsie, in Berea on June 12th to pay curtesy call.

In addition, the Director General for Health Services, added that the Lesotho Red Cross Society and Christian Health Association of Lesotho (CHAL) have been successful in the SLL, saying they have been consistently reporting and communicating with the Ministry since the program began. “Prior to the SLL, there were significant challenges with data management, which were resolved by the data clerks engaged under the SLL,” she added.

The findings of the assessment were reported to the Ministry of Health, Director General of Health Services, Principal Secretary, LRCS Secretary General, CHAL Executive Director and staff.