Addressing High Maternal Mortality and Newborn Deaths in Lesotho

20 December 2023

Maternal Mortality remains a key issue affecting women of reproductive age across the African Region. The current Maternal Mortality Ratio for Lesotho is 566/100,000 live births. This is categorized as very high and is above the regional average of 545/100,000 live births 

To address the high maternal and neonatal mortalities in Lesotho, the technical expert for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) and Ageing of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Multi-Country Assignment Team (MCAT) had an in-country engagement in Lesotho to assess the situation as well as the general health context of the country.


Lesotho- ‘Let the people decide’


(MENAFN - The Post) MASERU -BASOTHO will soon have their say on a proposed law that seeks to legalise abortion.

This, after MPs managed to make some headway in their negotiations with a group of church leaders who have been vehemently opposed to the legalisation of abortion.


Lesotho: Unsafe Abortion – a Growing Concern in Lesotho

By Majara Molupe

Maseru — There is increasing concern in Lesotho over increasing numbers of unsafe abortion. This unsafe abortion is carried out by individuals who do not have expertise to dabble in such practice.

Abortion in Lesotho is criminalised and any person who willingly causes or induces the termination of a pregnancy commits can face imprisonment of up to three years. Criminalising abortion means healthcare providers are unable to provide much needed health care for women.


In climate change-affected Lesotho, self-injected contraceptives empower women to choose their own future

In climate change-affected Lesotho, self-injected contraceptives empower women to choose their own future

12 March 2020

HA MOEKETSANE, Lesotho – Regina Mokoena has seen first-hand how drought and climate change are increasing the demand for family planning in her village.

Ms. Mokoena is a local health worker in Ha Moeketsane, in Lesotho’s mountainous rural Mokhotlong District. She says drought is disrupting livelihoods in this farming community, making it harder for parents to support large families.

“In these difficult times, it is not easy to look for a job or to get employed when you have many children, especially here in the village,” she said. “Besides, educating children is also very demanding.”


“I’ve seen with my own eyes, safe abortion saves lives”

"I’ve seen with my own eyes, safe abortion saves lives"

27 September 2018

Dr Manisha Kumar is a family medicine doctor and the coordinator of the Task Force for Safe Abortion Care, a project that aims to increase access to contraceptive and safe abortion care services offered by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) projects.

Before I started working at MSF field projects, I saw abortion as more of a political issue, or as an aspect of women’s rights. But now that I’ve seen women and girls in need of safe abortion, day after day, with my own eyes, I’ve come to understand abortion as a medical necessity, something that has a very real impact on people’s lives.


Lesotho – Where Abortion is Illegal, Women Turn to Facebook for Alternatives

Where Abortion is Illegal, Women Turn to Facebook for Alternatives

March 29, 2018
By Jenna Presta in International

Women in Lesotho are finding abortion pills and their providers on Facebook. Abortion, a matter of common law rather than statutory law in Lesotho, is illegal in all cases except those that threaten the life of the mother according to the UN country report.

In addition to legal obstacles, women in Lesotho face threats of social isolation, similar to women in the United States, where abortion can also be a taboo topic. These societal implications coupled with the legal restrictions of the nation drive women to seek out an alternative path.


In Lesotho, women say they’re finding their abortions on Facebook

In Lesotho, women say they're finding their abortions on Facebook

Story by Rossalyn Warren, for CNN
Mar 7, 2018

Maseru, Lesotho — Mpho opened a new chat on WhatsApp, entered an unfamiliar number, and typed a question she never thought she would have to ask.

Mpho: When can I get the pills?
I'm 7 weeks pregnant.
Doctor: Tomorrow
1000LSL including womb cleaning.
Does it hurt?
No. 9am tomorrow, come by then.

Mpho, who asked that CNN not use her real name, didn't know who she was talking to. She found the phone number on a Facebook post while searching for "abortion pills, Lesotho" online. The person reading her messages claimed to be a doctor.
In Lesotho, a remote country home to just 2.2 million people and surrounded by South Africa, abortion is strictly illegal, apart from in life-threatening cases.


Lesotho: school girl dies from illegal abortion

Lesotho: school girl dies from illegal abortion

Published on 17.10.2017
by APA News

A 15-year-old girl attending Bochaletsane High School in Mants’onyane village in Lesotho’s Thaba Tseka district was reported by police Tuesday to have died due to termination of pregnancy.Lesotho is among the 14 African countries, including Angola, Central African Republic, Congo (Brazzaville), DRC, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mauritania, Sao Tomê and Principe, Senegal and Somalia where abortion is prohibited.

Police senior superintendent Litsietsi Selimo told APA that the deceased was in past weeks confronted by her guardians about her condition, but resisted and said she would rather die than disclose the person who impregnated her.

Continued at source:

Clinics for World’s Vulnerable Brace for Trump’s Anti-Abortion Cuts

Clinics for World’s Vulnerable Brace for Trump’s Anti-Abortion Cuts

JAN. 26, 2017

DAKAR, Senegal — The clinic, tucked discreetly inside the student health center on the University of Dakar campus, prescribes birth control pills, hands out condoms and answers questions about sex that young women are nervous about asking in this conservative Muslim country.

The clinic performs no abortions, nor does it discuss the procedure or give advice on where to get one. Senegal, by and large, outlaws abortion. But for other health services like getting contraceptives, said Anne Lancelot, the Sahel director at the organization that runs the clinic, “there is a very high demand.”

Now, under a Reagan-era policy revived by President Trump, the clinic may no longer be able to count on aid money from the United States Agency for International Development, part of a ban on providing abortion counseling overseas that could curtail a broad range of health services, including those that go well beyond abortion.

[continued at link]
Source, New York Times:

Silence on Abortion Equals Death

Silence on Abortion Equals Death

JAN. 24, 2017

In one of his first acts as president, Donald Trump introduced a ban on funding for any international organization that, anywhere in its health care programs, provides or even discusses abortions with patients, other than in cases of rape, incest or life endangerment.

Known as the global gag rule because it prevents talking with women about the procedure, this ban has been enforced and revoked by different administrations since it was first imposed in 1984. It has been illegal to fund abortions as a method of family planning with U.S. money since 1973, but the gag rule pulls other family planning funding — for H.I.V. prevention or contraception, for example — if an organization even advises a patient on where to get an abortion. President Trump’s rule goes even further, and pulls all global health assistance, including for programs that address infectious diseases like malaria, Zika and Ebola.

[continued at link]
Source, New York Times: