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    Prenatal care is only part of solution in Lesotho.

    SAFE MOTHERHOOD NEWSLETTER. 1993 Mar-Jun; (11):9.

    Despite widespread prenatal care and risk screening, statistics indicate that a minimum of 220 pregnant women die in Lesotho for every 100,000 births. 85% of pregnant women attend for prenatal care at least once during pregnancy. Waiting homes or shelters are attached to many district hospitals and women at high risk and those who live a long way from the hospital or have no transport are advised to move into these homes to await delivery. Over 40% of the women, however, prefer to deliver at home. While a traditional birth attendant, community health worker, or relative may be present to help, in cases where women experience severe complications, competent medical assistance cannot readily be found. Transport is also a major problem. Although training courses have been conducted for TBAs and other birth attendants, the range of complications they are able to manage is limited. At a workshop which focused on the development of immediate action-oriented strategies to improve women's health and reduce maternal mortality, it was agreed that prenatal care only partly solved the problem of maternal mortality. In order to tackle the problem of maternal deaths, the government of Lesotho is developing a plan to upgrade its health facilities in remote areas and to equip skills of health care providers with the necessary skills to immediately treat women who develop complications. UNICEF, UNFPA, and WHO are collaborating to bring technical expertise and resources together in support of this large-scale effort and have created a joint Task Force to coordinate and monitor activities.
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