Photo Credit: Susan Sayers
Dear Partners In Health Supporter,
Please accept our heartfelt gratitude for your partnership in preventing maternal deaths in the rural, mountainous communities where we work in Lesotho. Below, please find an update on the Maternal Mortality Reduction Project that we recently published in our quarterly newsletter. As always, please be in touch with any questions that you have about our work.
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LESOTHO: PIH/LESOTHO WORKS TO PREVENT MATERNAL DEATHS
For many people living in rural Lesotho, reaching a health clinic takes an hours-long hike through mountains. For pregnant women, the journey is even more daunting.
But more than two years ago, PIH/Lesotho (PIH/L) began a program to prevent maternal deaths by making high-quality care accessible to women during pregnancy, in childbirth, and after delivery. Since then, the program has expanded to all seven clinics PIH/L serves, with dramatic results. Since the beginning of the program, more than 2,800 babies have been delivered at PIH/L-supported health clinics. From 2010 to 2012, the use of family planning has increased by more than 65 percent, and 25 percent more women and children have received care to prevent the spread of HIV from mother to child.
The comprehensive program centers on maternal health workers who make regular home visits to find pregnant women and accompany them to clinics for antenatal care and delivery. PIH/L has also established seven mothers’ waiting houses. Now, women in labor can avoid an hours-long walk to a clinic and be close to care when labor starts. PIH/L Country Director Dr. Hind Satti said the entire staff, from drivers to nurse midwives, are committed to preventing maternal deaths.
“We are not going to accept any maternal deaths,” said Dr. Satti. “We all started with that spirit—that there is no reason a woman should die during pregnancy or giving birth.”