Malebohang Setona, enrolled in MMRP program
An Update from the Field - Patient Story
Below is the story of Malebohang Setona, a patient at the Nohana health center in Lesotho who is benefiting from the Maternal Mortality Reduction Project.
Written by Susan Sayers, Hannah Hughes, and Charles Howes
March 21, 2012
Malebohang Setona is 21 years old, nine months pregnant, from the village of Ha-Kori, which is about a 3 hour walk from the Nohana health center. She is pregnant with her second child. Her first child, a girl, is 3 years old. She is married, and her husband, 26 years of age, is at home, unemployed. They have some fields which they plow, and they have a few livestock. Just Malebohang, her husband, and her first child live in their household, and her mother-in-law lives nearby.
Malebohang delivered her first child at home, attended by mothers in the village and her mother-in-law, without complications. At that time that her first child was born, the Nohana health center had been rebuilt by Partners In Health (this was done in 2006) but we had not yet launched the Maternal Mortality Reduction Project (MMRP) here, and the women’s shelter at Nohana did not exist.
A very soft-spoken woman, Malebohang described how she came to learn about the MMRP. She attended a community gathering where a Maternal Mortality Reduction Project Assistant (MMRPA, a traditional birth attendant who PIH has trained to be a maternal health worker) informed the community about the program, the importance of women attending antenatal visits and delivering at facility, the ability to stay at the clinic while awaiting delivery. Malebohang was not yet pregnant then, but when she became pregnant, she approached the MMRPA, and they came together to the Nohana health center for her first antenatal visit.
In total, Malebohang received three antenatal visits, including an ultrasound early in her pregnancy to determine the gestational age of the baby. When we asked her what her expected delivery date was, she smiled, and replied in Bosutho “March 27 ”. She checked in to the women’s shelter on March 2. At the shelter, she receives three meals a day; she is required to bring her own linens and toiletries. Importantly, her mother-in-law is supportive of her being at the shelter; she came to visit Malebohang last week. Her husband is at home taking care of the other child.
When asked about the benefits of the program, Malebohang, through a translator, said that “in case of emergencies, I will get the appropriate care here, unlike at home.” She added that she and the other mothers are “very thankful for the support, for their own good and for their babies.”