The Boston University Medical Campus (BUMC) has a long history of work in Lesotho with and for the Lesotho Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW). In 2001-02 Boston University carried out an economic feasibility and design study for a possible new hospital to replace Lesotho’s current National Referral Hospital – Queen Elizabeth II. This engagement led to a discussion with Dr. M. Motloheloa Phooko, then Minister of Health & Social Welfare, as to whether Lesotho would be interested if Boston University were to make a multi-year commitment to work with the country as it grappled with the profound impacts of HIV/AIDS. Dr. Phooko indicated his interest and Dr. John Silber, then Chancellor of Boston University, approved and provided start-up funding on June 10, 2003. The Honourable Minister, Dr. Mphu Ramatlapeng, then in private practice, saw the potential of the Boston commitment and introduced the Boston team to the Deputy Prime Minster in August of 2003. Subsequently, Boston University President’s Chobanian and Brown have reaffirmed this commitment, and the Government of Lesotho and BUMC agreed to focus on preserving the lives of Lesotho’s citizens through building the capacity of the country’s health workforce and maximizing the efficiency of Lesotho’s existing health system and its use of resources.
Since January 2004, BUMC has had a continuous presence in Lesotho. Work has focused on supporting the intent of the MOHSW Human Resources Development & Strategic Plan through professional exchanges, multi-cadre discussions on strategy, training community health workers, building capacity for individual problem solving, and the development of a long-term program for the introduction of specialty training in family medicine, continuing education for in-patient nurses, and health services management improvement in two of Lesotho’s ten districts. BUMC has also provided technical assistance and advice when requested to the MOHSW and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning on multiple issues, including health insurance, resource limitations and antiretrovirals, the formulation of an agreement with the Christian Health Association of Lesotho (CHAL), and research involving human subjects. BUMC, with funding from the International Finance Corporation and World Bank, has also had an ongoing major role in planning the new national referral hospital. Construction of the Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital was completed in 2011 and serves as the new national referral hospital.
The collaboration of Boston University and Boston Medical Center activities in Lesotho is officially known as the Lesotho-Boston Health Alliance (LeBoHA), a registered public trust in Lesotho.
LeBoHA’s vision is:
to see a Basotho driven district healthcare system that meets the needs of all Basotho.
The mission of LeBoHA is:
to work with the Government of Lesotho and in particular the Ministry of Health in building the human researches for health capacity needed to improve and sustain good quality comprehensive care in Lesotho.
In order to achieve this, LeBoHA’s goals include:
- Developing systems and programs to recruit, train, and retain a quality health care workforce that is able to meet the needs of Lesotho, with a focus on providers delivering primary care services;
- Developing management practices and policies that support continuous improvement and maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of health service delivery in Lesotho; and
- Developing capacity for conducting systems analysis and planning that promotes efficiency, equity and sustainability in the administration of health care in Lesotho.
- August 1990 – Completed study on health sector performance indicators; Read the study
- June 1993 – Completed study on population aging
- June 2002 – Completed study for MOHSW on QEII hospital and referrals health services; Read the study
- November 2002 – MOHSW requests Boston University’s help
- June 2003 – BU President makes long-term commitment to work with Lesotho through the HIV/AIDS crisis
- August 2003 – Deputy Prime Minister requests help to “keep teachers alive”
- October 2003 – Adult HIV prevalence reaches 31%
- January 2004 – BU collaboration with Lesotho College of Education (LCE) begins
- April 2004 – Conducted first PSBH® training
- March 2005 – Opened primary care clinic at LCE
- December 2005 –MOHSW launched the Know Your Status campaign
- December 2005 – LeBoHA and PACT sign agreement to increase effectiveness, quality and capacity of HIV related services
- June 2006 – Opt-out testing introduced at the LCE clinic
- September 2006 – LeBoHA works with hospitals to dvelop an implementation plan for the training of Community Health Workers in testing and counseling
- October 2006 – LCE clinic initiates 4 people on treatment for AIDS
- November 2006 – First group of Community Based Counselors (CBCs) start door-to-door testing in Berea
- March 2007 – Worked with the Lesotho Medical Association to publish the Lesotho Medical Association Journal
- April 2007 – Completed training of 285 CBCs for Berea district
- May 2007 – Conducted PSBH® training
- June 2007 – The Lesotho Medical Association (LMA) becomes member of WONCA
- June 2007 – First Advanced CBC training held
- August 2007 – A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the MOHSW and BU and BMC was signed.
- September 2007 – Lesotho Cabinet approved the funding required to sustain the Family Medicine Specialty Training Program (FMSTP) by the fourth year of the program.
- September 2007 – The Lesotho-Boston Health Alliance was officially registered as a local non-profit organization (public trust).
- October 2007 – Conducted PSBH® training
- December 2007 – First screening of Mountains of Hope, a documentary to recruit Basotho physicians
- January 2008 –FMSTP launched with 2 trainees.
- January 2008 – Tsepong consortium led by Netcare is selected to operate PPP referral hospital
- March 2008 – On-site competency-based nursing education program launched at Motebang and Maluti Hospitals
- March 2008 – Completed training of 85 Advanced CBCs
- March 2008 – Conducted PSBH® training
- April 2008 – FMSTP featured in Lesotho’s paper, the Public Eye; Read the article
- April 2008 – QA Steering Committee formed at Maluti
- May 2008 – Celebrated International Nurses Day at partner hospitals
- May 2008 – LeBoHA joins with PSI to continue KYS campaign
- June 2008 – Completed baseline study of QEII hospital
- June 2008 – Nursing Documentation Initiative begins
- June & July 2008 – LeBoHA holds Medical Student Caucuses
- July 2008 – Lesotho Medical Students Association (LEMSA) forms
- July 2008 – LMA recognizes LeBoHA for service
- August 2008 – Motebang forms QA Committee
- August 2008 – Motivational speaker presents to Berea Hospital staff
- September 2008 – Merck commits 120,000 doses of Gardasil for Lesotho through the Gardasil Access Program
- September 2008 – Senior CBC training conducted
- September 2008 – LeBoHA begins KYS campaign in Berea district
- October 2008- Maluti Hospital QA projects begin
- October 2008 – FMSTP faculty and registrars attend WONCA conference; See the posters
- October 2008 – Conducted PSBH® training aimed at Nurses called “Problem Solving for Better Nursing”
- January 2009 – Four trainees join the 2nd class of registrars in the FMSTP
- February – KYS campaign ends with 7,096 individuals tested in the Berea district; Read the Final Report
- February 2009 – Contract signed by LeBoHA and MOHSW to begin baseline study of national Health Services
- March 2009 – Maluti QA projects mid-point review
- March 2009 – LeBoHA assists with roll out of Dose 1 of Gardasil vaccine in the Leribe district
- March 2009 – Management training conducted on”Analytical skills for managing financial resources”
- April 2009 – Chart Review conducted for Documentation Initiative
- May 2009 – LeBoHA introduces Clinical Supervisor position at Motebang Hospital
- May 2009 – LeBoHA awarded grant from Izumi Foundation
- May 2009 – LeBoHA assists with Dose 2 of Gardasil vaccine in the Leribe district
- June 2009 – Midterm review of the Kellogg Grant activities; Read the Midterm Review
- June 2009 – LeBoHA presents at the International Council of Nurses Conference; See the poster
- June and July 2009 – LeBoHA and LEMSA host Medical Student Caucuses
- July 2009 – Conducted PSBH® training
- September 2009 – Maluti QA projects completed
- October 2009 - FMSTP faculty and registrars attend WONCA conference
- October 2009 – LeBoHA assists with Dose 3 of Gardasil vaccine in the Leribe district