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Netball joins fight against maternal death 

by Sunday Express
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High School students during a netball tournamnet played at Lehakoe in this file picture

High School students during a netball tournamnet played at Lehakoe in this file picture

Moorosi Tsiane

In a bid to reduce maternal death in Qacha’s Nek, the Lesotho Netball Association (LNA) has teamed-up with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to hold a four-month awareness campaign in the district.

LNA public relations officer Matšepo Mohau on Tuesday told the Sunday Express that the association held a meeting with officials from ministries of Education and Training, Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation, and Social Development as well as the Qacha’s Nek District Administrator on the campaign as they would also be involved.

Mohau further said the campaign would be targeting villages around Matebeng and ‘Milikane clinics, where the maternal death-rate was revealed to be very high by a recent research. Maternal death is the passing away of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of the termination of the pregnancy.

“We had a meeting with relevant stakeholders this week and we are still waiting for their feedback so that we can begin the campaign because we have suggested to launch it on 29 August so that it ends in December,” Mohau said on Friday.

The campaign, Mohau noted, would see several activities that encourage women to go for medical checkups during pregnancy, being held.

“We have a series of events lined-up that will involve pregnant women from those villages, as well as girls from nearby schools,” she said, adding the campaign is being funded by UNICEF.

According to Mohau, it had been found out that women from these targeted villages hardly go to clinics while pregnant hence the high maternal death rate.

“We have learned that Qacha’s Nek tops in maternal death and also that the villages I have mentioned are the most affected. The campaign we are going to hold is meant to highlight the importance of medical checkups while one is pregnant as we care about these women’s well-being.”

Mohau also noted the campaign would be part of LNA’s efforts to spread netball to other districts of the country.

“Girls from nearby schools are going to play a netball tournament and at the same time, be educated about the importance of going to clinics and not hiding one they fall pregnant. We will also be looking for new talent during the tournament as we build our junior and senior national netball teams.”

 

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