CDC in Lesotho

feature image Lesotho

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established an office in Lesotho in 2007 and collaborates with the Lesotho Ministry of Health and partners on public health policies, services, and capacity development. Under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, CDC’s work in Lesotho focuses on HIV prevention interventions, treatment for HIV and tuberculosis, health information systems, and laboratory services.

Lesotho map

What CDC is Doing in Lesotho

HIV is a leading cause of death and a health threat to millions worldwide. As a key implementer of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), CDC works with Lesotho to build a sustainable, high-impact national HIV response program to accelerate progress towards the UNAIDS global targets to control the HIV epidemic.

CDC supports the Ministry of Health’s efforts around HIV and tuberculosis (TB) treatment, improving health information systems, increasing laboratory capacity, preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and HIV counseling and testing. Additionally, CDC works with the ministry on diagnosis, treatment, and management of TB, multidrug- resistant TB, and HIV/TB co-infection. CDC provides technical leadership in building human capacity for HIV/TB treatment programs by supporting training and mentoring for health workers. CDC also supports Lesotho’s efforts to strengthen surveillance, monitoring and evaluation, and health information systems needed for the national HIV response.

CDC provides technical assistance to implement quality laboratory systems, diagnosis and monitoring tests, and new diagnostic technologies. In partnership with implementing partners, CDC provides technical expertise in developing local capacity for effective coordination of laboratory programs to improve service quality.

CDC has played a key role in Lesotho’s efforts to scale-up laboratory capacity for viral load testing. CDC supported three new facilities to conduct testing and procured viral load/early infant diagnosis reagents and TB test supplies for the national program. Lesotho now has the capacity to provide viral load testing for all patients receiving HIV treatment.

CDC and partners support Lesotho’s efforts to implement surveys and surveillance, monitoring and evaluation, and health information systems needed for the national HIV response.

CDC supported the Lesotho population-based HIV impact assessment (PHIA), a national survey conducted in 2016-2017 that included HIV risk factors and biomarkers. Results of the survey showed that 81% of persons 15-59 years of age living with HIV in Lesotho had been diagnosed, 92% of individuals who had been diagnosed were on treatment, and 88% of those on treatment were virally suppressed. These results indicate that Lesotho is making good progress towards the UNAIDS goal of 90-90-90 by 2020.

CDC Impact in Lesotho
  • Results from the Lesotho population-based HIV impact assessment, the first national HIV survey, indicate the progress that Lesotho is making towards the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goal by 2020.
  • Treatment coverage for persons living with HIV is now approximately 71%.
  • Scale-up of laboratory capacity can now provide viral load testing to all persons on HIV treatment.
  • More than 860,000 HIV tests were conducted in Lesotho in 2018.
CDC Staff in Lesotho
  • 5 U.S. Assignees
  • 4 Locally Employed
Lesotho at a Glance
  • Population: 2,233,339 (2017)
  • Per capita income: $3,510
  • Life expectancy at birth: F 56/M 52 years
  • Infant mortality rate: 59/1,000 live births

Sources: World Bank 2018, Lesotho
Population Reference Bureau 2018, Lesotho

Lesotho Top 10 Causes of Death
  2. Tuberculosis
  3. Stroke
  4. Lower respiratory infections
  5. Ischemic heart disease
  6. Diarrheal diseases
  7. Diabetes
  8. Neonatal disorders
  9. Road injuries
  10. Interpersonal violence

GBD Compare 2018, Lesotho

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Page last reviewed: July 22, 2019
Content source: Global Health