An­drew Mews

Lesotho Times - - Opinion & Analysis -

of births in the hospi­tal in­creased by 45% in just a year, while the pro­por­tion of moth­ers-to-be who died was dras­ti­cally re­duced. This suc­cess story could eas­ily be ex­tended to the en­tire coun­try, and for a very af­ford­able pro­por­tion of the ex­ist­ing health bud­get, if Le­sotho were to adopt as na­tional pol­icy care­fully planned Free Ma­ter­nity Care both at health cen­tre and hospi­tal level, in line with rec­om­men­da­tions from the United Na­tions and the World Health As­sem­bly.

In the third quar­ter of 2014 we be­gan ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Leso- tho Min­istry of Health, propos­ing to build on our Roma suc­cess story by sup­port­ing health author­i­ties in the dis­trict of Mo­hale’s Hoek. We wished to mag­nify our Roma ex­pe­ri­ence by strength­en­ing ca­pac­ity in the last of Le­sotho’s three main hos­pi­tals that does not yet ben­e­fit from strong sup­port from an in­ter­na­tional part­ner.

In ad­di­tion to im­prov­ing the qual­ity of ma­ter­nity ser­vices in the dis­trict’s ru­ral clin­ics, we also of­fered to up­grade the ca­pac­ity of the dis­trict hospi­tal to be­come a re­gional qual­ity re­fer­ral fa­cil­ity, cover all costs as­so­ci­ated with an­te­na­tal care and de­liv­er­ies, and help it to be­come a qual­ity train­ing cen­tre for mid­wives in the re­gion. De­spite

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