giving totals

Total funding goal: $1,675

Total funding to date: $1,675

Remaining goal: $0

Total Donors: 41

Project start date: 07/01/2009

Project completion date: 07/01/2013

Latest project status

General Status Update

Date: 10/01/2012

Thank you for your support! Donate now and your gift will be matched!

Your donation to Partners In Health's Maternal Mortality Reduction Project will be doubled! Thanks to a very generous donor, when our project funding reaches $3,175, a $1,500 match will kick in!  

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General Status Update

Date: 06/21/2012

An Update from the Field - Patient Story

Nohana health center, Lesotho, March 21, 2012


Malebohang Setona is 21 years old, nine months pregnant, from the village of Ha-Kori, which is about 3 hours walk from the Nohana health center. She is pregnant with her second child. Her first child, a girl, is 3 years old. She is married, and her husband, 26 years of age, is at home, unemployed. They have some fields which View More


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Maternal Mortality Reduction Project

Mamohau, Lesotho

In the small southern African country of Lesotho, high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity threaten the country's young mothers. Lesotho is one of the few countries in the world where the number of women dying of maternal causes has increased over the last decade. Many of these women, especially in the mountains of rural Lesotho, die of causes that could be prevented if they had access to skilled delivery assistance and emergency obstetric care. A new initiative from Partners In Health, in partnership with the Lesotho Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, is working to achieve three ambitious goals: (1) All women deliver at a clinic or hospital with skilled assistance, (2) all women attend a minimum of four prenatal care visits during each pregnancy, and (3) all women undergo HIV testing at their first prenatal visit and are treated according to national protocols.

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Where this project is located

Info about Lesotho

A small, mountainous nation of 1.8 million people located entirely within the borders of South Africa, Lesotho suffers from the third highest rate of HIV infection in the world. Almost one quarter of the adult population are estimated to be HIV-positive, of whom less than one quarter is aware of the infection.

Project Milestones

Partners In Health, in partnership with the Lesotho Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, launched a project at 8 rural health facilities that addresses the challenges posed by rugged terrain and limited resources.

First, specialized Community Health Workers - many of whom are former traditional birth attendants -- are selected by the community and trained, supervised and compensated to educate women in their villages and accompany them to clinic for comprehensive prenatal care, facility-based delivery, and post-natal care.

Second, clinic resources are upgraded to improve the quality of maternity care, including the equipment, supplies, and medications critical to assuring safe delivery.

Third, mothers' waiting houses are built at each facility so that a woman who lives more than a 2 hour walk from the clinic can stay for up to two weeks prior to her due date, ensuring that she is able to deliver at a facility with a skilled attendant.

Fourth, a fully licensed nurse-midwife is posted to each clinic to run the project and provide comprehensive prenatal, delivery, and postnatal health services.

Lastly, the women themselves are incentivized to come to the facility to deliver through the provision of peer support and food at the waiting house and a starter pack of basic infant supplies from the clinic.

(all are ongoing)


In Lesotho, a country that is largely rural and mountainous and with some of the harshest weather in Africa, the rate of women dying during pregnancy and childbirth has doubled in less than 10 years. The majority of women in the mountains deliver at home, and few attend more than one prenatal care visit during pregnancy. Women in the mountains walk for an average of 5 hours to reach a health center, resulting in low numbers of women delivering at health facilities with assistance from medical professionals who can manage complications. 60% of maternal deaths in Lesotho are the result of emergencies that require surgical intervention, such as hemorrhage, infection, or obstructed labor. When such emergencies occur at home, there is almost no chance that the woman will reach lifesaving emergency care in time to prevent severe injury or death.

More Information

"Every woman deserves the right to celebrate the birth of her child without fear and with hope for a healthy future - this is why I believe our Maternal Mortality Reduction Program is so revolutionary." - Dr. Hind Satti, PIH Lesotho Country Director