MASERU – Women and Law Southern Africa (WLSA) appeals to the government of Lesotho to deal with the source which leads to increasing cases of abortion in Lesotho.
The WLSA Programme Manager ‘Mamosa Mohlabula-Nokana disclosed this in an interview on Tuesday.
This follows the revelation by the Minster of Health Nkaku Kabi that abortion cases were the main causes of congestion at Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital (QMMH) as at least 5 to 15 cases of abortion are dealt with on daily basis.
Mrs Mohlabula-Nokana argues that high rate of abortion could be addressed through finding a way on how to regulate it in order to save lives of women as that would ensure that women perform abortions at safe environments and under close expert supervision.
“Perhaps it is time to legalise abortion so that proper procedures can be followed. It is vital to stop discriminating those women who commit abortions as they have a right to quality health services,” she says.
She further notes that the cases of abortion call for national help as most Basotho women fall pregnant while going through some social issues that include rape, after which some of them do not have support to raise the children as partners would have disappeared.
The Director General Health Services Dr Nyane Letsie had earlier said Queen Elizabeth II Hospital would operate 24/7 to address emergencies. She added that Berea Government Hospital would also be used as a referral. Pregnant women should use nearby health centres for normal deliveries so that Ts’epong can only deal with those with high risk pregnancies, she said.
T’sepong referral hospital was reported by the health department to be under severe shortage of space and bed for admitting patients. Dr Letsie said the new measures were meant to help bring the situation at Ts’epong back to normal and the public has been urged to use the hospital only for referrals not transfers.
Basotho have also been encouraged to promote behavioural change in order to prevent unplanned pregnancies that often result in illegal abortion which are said to be key causes of maternal mortality and costly to the government of Lesotho which incurs costs when patients are treated at Ts’epong.