The accessibility to oral health services in Lesotho’s public health sector




Lesotho, Southern Africa, Oral Health, Dentist, Dental Therapist, Public Health


Lesotho is a land-locked mountainous country in Southern Africa. Both geography and poverty impact on dental health in low-income patients. Information on the number and function of dentists and dental therapists in public hospitals, are lacking. The aim was to investigate accessibility to oral health services. Objectives were to investigate the number and geographical distribution of oral health personnel and document the availability of dental services in Lesotho. A cross-sectional mixed methods study design was used. Four dental therapists of the six employed by the government, participated in in-depth interviews. Questionnaires about access to oral health services were administered to government employed dentists. The Lesotho National
Department of Oral Health provided information regarding dental patient statistics between 2017 and 2019. It was found that 20 dentists and 10 dental therapists provided limited dental services in public facilities. In 2017, 2018 and 2019; the annual numbers of dental patients were 85 776, 75 148 and 97 425 respectively. Approximately 40% of patients visited two hospitals in Maseru. It was concluded that there was a shortage of oral health personnel, resulting in inadequate access to dental services, particularly in rural


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How to Cite

Mokhethi, M. ., & McCrindle, C. M. E. . (2022). The accessibility to oral health services in Lesotho’s public health sector. South African Dental Journal, 77(05), 264–269.