Original Research

Quantitative exploration of barriers to access cancer services experienced by cancer patients in Lesotho

Maseabata M. Ramathebane, Mopa A. Sooro, Lineo J. Maja, Kabelo Mputsoe, Molungoa Sello, Motselisi C. Mokhethi
South African Journal of Oncology | Vol 8 | a291 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajo.v8i0.291 | © 2024 Maseabata M. Ramathebane, Mopa A. Sooro, Lineo J. Maja, Kabelo Mputsoe, Molungoa Sello, Motselisi C. Mokhethi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 November 2023 | Published: 08 July 2024

About the author(s)

Maseabata M. Ramathebane, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, National University of Lesotho, Maseru, Lesotho
Mopa A. Sooro, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, National University of Lesotho, Maseru, Lesotho
Lineo J. Maja, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, National University of Lesotho, Maseru, Lesotho
Kabelo Mputsoe, Oncology Clinic, Ministry of Health, Maseru, Lesotho
Molungoa Sello, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, National University of Lesotho, Maseru, Lesotho
Motselisi C. Mokhethi, Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences, National University of Lesotho, Maseru, Lesotho

Abstract

Background: Cancer mortality has been estimated to increase in sub-Saharan Africa to more than a million deaths in 2023. There is a need for an increase in cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment infrastructure to curb this rise in cancer mortality. Many people with cancer face significant barriers to accessing treatment.

Aim: The study aimed to explore barriers to accessing cancer care services experienced by cancer patients in Lesotho.

Setting: This study was conducted at the Senkatana oncology clinic in Maseru, Lesotho.

Methods: The study adopted a quantitative cross-sectional design. Cancer patient interviews were conducted using a structured questionnaire.

Results: A total of 115 patients responded to the questionnaire, and 79.1% were female. Over half of the participants (53.9%) found it difficult to access cancer services because they had to get services from multiple healthcare facilities in different areas. All of them had to join long queues. Distance from the healthcare facilities was also a challenge for a significant number (64.3%), and a substantial number (66.1%) had difficulties arranging transport to such facilities. Finally, financial issues, such as paying for transport, healthcare and diagnostic tests, were determined to be major constraints.

Conclusion: The study concludes that most cancer patients face financial and practical barriers. This affects access to cancer services, particularly for patients not residing in Maseru.

Contribution: The study shares information regarded as barriers to cancer services in a low- and middle-income country.


Keywords

access; cancer services; barriers; transport; Lesotho

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education

Metrics

Total abstract views: 175
Total article views: 146


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.