Supporting Lesotho from across the world

Diana conducting a remote training session with healthcare staff in Lesotho.

On Wednesday, the team kicked off an eight-week programme of remote support for colleagues caring for patients with COVID-19 in Lesotho.

The first in a series of eight live lectures was run by UK-Med’s Risk Communications and Community Engagement referent Diana Maddah, who hosted a session supporting clinicians with ‘Mental health and coping mechanisms during the pandemic’. Diana said:

“During COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers have been exposed to hard working conditions. They are vulnerable to physical and mental health problems due to the accumulated stress, physical exhaustion, stigma, and fear of infecting themselves or their loved ones. This might lead to an increase in the level of anxiety, insomnia, and depression; thus, affecting the quality and safety of the care they provide.

This psycho-social support session aims to provide healthcare workers in Lesotho with coping mechanisms to fight their fears and concerns and to look after themselves through adopting some self-care techniques.

This session ensured a safe space for the participants to share their concerns and experience. It also equipped the healthcare workers with tips on how to deal with their children and respond to their concerns as well as how to provide psychological first aids to their patients.

Participants were able to share their concerns and thoughts and expressed their willingness to use the techniques explained in order to listen to their body needs to stay productive and be able to take care of others.”

This important topic is the only non-clinical lecture of the series, with the remainder focussing primarily on COVID-19 clinical care. Clinicians will:

improve their techniques for caring for patients including those in intensive care;

understand more about the right medications and treatments to provide COVID-19 patients;

and learn more about how vaccines work.

The lectures are complemented by a series of clinical case discussions taking place on Fridays. UK-Med members and NHS staff Paul Ransom and Derek Sloan will provide coaching and guidance to colleagues in Lesotho with virtual clinical case management sessions. Participants will bring examples of patients they are currently caring for and discuss with Derek and Paul the best course of treatment. We’re excited to develop further our digital approach to skills exchange!

The programme will culminate with face-to-face training in December, with three UK staff providing an intensive course to consolidate learning over the period.

UK-Med is pleased to be offering this innovative training approach as part of the UK Emergency Medical Team’s work across Africa, with funding from UK Aid from the British people, via the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. 

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