MASERU- Lesotho Planned Parenthood Association (LPPA), together with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) last week Wednesday celebrated World Women’s Day with factory workers by giving them free sexual reproductive health services.
LPPA Public Relations Officer Tlali Matela said factory workers were busy people who do not have time to go for health services, especially with sexual reproductive health. The LPPA, he said, had decided to visit them to save them time and their jobs.
He said for the past few months, they have been working with factory workers and noticed that most of them are women who fall under the reproductive age and they have seen increasing numbers of women who want their services.
He said as reproductive health services providers, they care about women and committed to their rights and help them to choose a safe contraceptive method that goes with them, as well as giving HIV counseling and education to all women and their families.
“We educate women regarding their reproductive health care, birth control methods, pre-natal care, and other related health issues,” he added.
On the other hand, UNFPA Representative Lesotho Nuzhat Ehsan said every individual has the right to make their own choices about their sexual and reproductive health. She said UNFPA, together with a wide range of partners, works toward the goal of universal access to sexual and reproductive health, including family planning.
Ehsan said people need access to accurate information on safe, effective, affordable and acceptable contraception methods of their choice and that they must be informed and empowered to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections. She went on to say that even when they decide to have children, women must have access to services that can help them to a fir pregnancy, safe delivery and healthy babies.
She said in the two weeks that she has been in Lesotho, she has noticed that there were many women dying or suffering as a result of severe pregnancy complications every year and that as this country is facing high maternal mortality rate.
She added that UNFPA, together with other organisations, would continue to provide support to reduce maternal mortality, prevent HIV, reduce gender inequality and develop quality data related to population issues.
“We will work hard to increase availability and use of integrated sexual and reproductive health services including family planning, maternal health and HIV, which are gender-responsive and meet human rights standards for quality of care and equity in access, advanced gender equality, women’s and girls’ empowerment, and reproductive rights, including for the most vulnerable and marginalized women, adolescents and youth,” she said.