This study commissioned by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) was conducted by the African Foundation for Development (AFFORD) between February and May 2014 among Basotho health-care professionals working and living in the United Kingdom. The purpose of the survey was to map out the demographic and social characteristics of these health professionals, their migratory trajectories as well as their potential for contributing to the development of the health sector in Lesotho.
The study’s findings indicate a strong attachment among Basotho health professionals to Lesotho. Virtually all the respondents expressed willingness to engage in development initiatives. The population of Basotho diaspora in the United Kingdom is relatively low compared to other Southern African countries. The Basotho-UK forum is identified as the major forum where the Basotho diaspora generally affiliate. Basotho health professionals affiliate to this voluntary organization, which is open to all Basotho living in the United Kingdom. The forum has initiated a number of efforts related to the health sector and other areas towards the development in Lesotho. Such initiatives have included sponsoring the education of disadvantaged children and supporting orphans in Lesotho. Despite various plans to further support the health sector in Lesotho in different ways, efforts have unfortunately been hampered by bureaucratic hurdles in Lesotho. This indicates the need for more focused and strategic intervention, as well as cohesive collaboration with the Government of Lesotho as this could potentially lead to the “brain gain” scenario that is now associated with international migration.