Partners In Health aids expecting mothers in Lebakeng


QACHA’S NEK – Inability of expecting mothers to attend antenatal care and access safe delivery by health professional at the clinics, is one of the causes of high maternal mortality in Lesotho.

In an effort to ensure that women stay in a dignified space, Partners In Health has mobilised resources to build maternal waiting homes for different rural hard-to-reach clinics.

They handed over a building to the government in Qacha’s Nek district, Lebakeng, which will accommodate pregnant women in their last days of pregnancy. The facility marks a pivotal step towards improving maternal and child health in Lesotho.

Partners In Health executive director, Dr Melino Ndayizigiye, said one of the programmes they implemented was a maternal mortality reduction programme, where they have established a maternal waiting home to ensure that pregnant women come and stay at the clinic few days before they give birth.

He said: “We provided social support including food, linen and clothes for the babies and we make sure that they are comfortable staying at the clinic while waiting for their babies to be born.”

He further noted that the Partners In Health model of delivery is to ensure quality care, which means that the clinics must have enough and qualified staff, space, system and social support.

For his part, Prime Minister Samuel Ntsokoane Matekane said this is a reflection of their dedication to supporting families and enhancing healthcare services across the country.

He said according to Word Health Organisation (WHO) reports, expecting mothers and their babies’ die before getting to the facilities due to a number of reasons, which include living far away from the facilities, bad roads which delay them to get to the facilities, as well as climate change which has negatively affected health services in a number of ways.

Matekane said all these factors hinder safe delivery for all the expecting mothers. He added that the facility will help expecting mothers to be at the facility when their delivery time is approaching and even after they have given birth to protect the lives of mothers and babies.

“The waiting home will provide expectant mothers with a safe and supportive environment, ensuring better health outcomes for both mothers and their babies.

“This gift comes at an opportune time as we celebrate 200 years of existence as the Basotho people. It sends a clear message that as we map a way forward for the next 200 years, improved health services are at the heart of our service delivery strategy (NSDP2) and we are intentional about improving the lives of the Basotho people,” he added.

He expressed gratitude to partners who always contribute in making Lesotho a better place, by putting up the needed infrastructure.

“Let me also take this opportunity to call upon all other partners to continue supporting and working with us in creating an enabling environment for Basotho,” he added.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has expressed concern on the high maternal mortality rate of 566 per 100 000 livebirths, in the country.

UNFPA representative Innocent Modisaotsile, during his courtesy call to the minister of health earlier this year, indicated that birth should be celebratory and should not be a death sentence, therefore he assured the minister that UNFPA is working with other United Nations (UN) agencies in efforts to prevent the high rate of maternal deaths.

He reaffirmed UNFPA’s commitment to support implementation of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) programmes, including reduction of the unmet need for family planning and early and unintended pregnancies by, among others, ensuring that young people have access to information and family planning supplies to protect themselves.