- Women in Lesotho face numerous obstacles to obtaining maternal care, and this poses severe risks to their health.
- The country is mountainous and has few roads. Many people in remote rural communities cannot afford transportation costs to health facilities. There is also a shortage of skilled health workers.
- Consequently, about 50 per cent of women deliver their babies at home. Another challenge is the high prevalence of HIV in Lesotho – it is 27 per cent among pregnant women. HIV, along with tuberculosis (TB) co-infection, contributes to high rates of maternal death.
- Médecins Sans Frontières continues to focus on improving access to maternal medical care and family planning, as well as to treatment for people with HIV. Family planning services, ante- and postnatal care and emergency services are offered at the Médecins Sans Frontières-supported St Joseph’s district hospital in Roma, six health clinics in the lowlands and three clinics in remote Semonkong.
- Médecins Sans Frontières also has an ambulance to transport patients to the hospital for emergency treatment.
- Médecins Sans Frontières trains and mentors local staff at these facilities to provide integrated care for patients co-infected with HIV and TB. Local counsellors and community health workers initiate and follow up antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.
- Viral load monitoring – an important laboratory measure of HIV in the blood that can indicate treatment success or failure – was also expanded.
For the latest news on where we work visit: http://activityreport.msf.org/
Médecins Sans Frontières has been working in the country since 2006 to 2011.