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Partners in Health, Lesotho Project

Working in twelve countries around the world to provide quality medical care to people in some of the poorest and most difficult to reach parts of the globe. This includes the Lesotho project, which is one of three sites in Africa.

Learnings

This project has reinforced our beliefs about the importance of community engagement. You cannot simply impose a programme on a community – you need their buy-in. Our collaboration with village chiefs, traditional birth attendants and other individuals in the community, such as the mothers and mother-in-laws of the women this programme targets, has been extremely useful in this respect. Also, we’re learning more and more that in order to address women’s issues, we have to engage men as well. Actually, that’s been one of the challenges with this project since most of the men in Lesotho are gone for extended periods of time. Still, our work with village chiefs – who are of course men – has been critical to the overall success of the programme thus far. Finally, the project has reinforced the importance of considering the bigger picture and making sure all pieces of the puzzle are in place. It is no use, for example, offering services for mothers at a clinic if you are not going to overcome the geographic barriers for them to reach you.

This project recognizes and embraces the complexities - there is no one simple solution...

Joia Mukherjee, Partners in Health

 

Key Facts

Project name: 
The Maternal Health and HIV Lesotho Project

Run by:
Partners In Health

Region:
The southern African country of Lesotho

Population:
Mothers, children

Challenges:
Geographic isolation, lack of infrastructure and health services, female vulnerability, large and growing HIV epidemic, high maternal mortality

Activities:
Community health worker training, resource development, incentives and support