By: Lebohang Maluke

Maseru – International Conference Population and Development (ICPD), holds a capacity building of Journalists through a two day conference. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) briefs media on assisting the nation in being accountable.

UNFPA representative Mr. Innocent Modiasaotsile says women and girls die during child birth, gender based violence issues diving the behaviour.

Most girls miss out schools due to unattended pregnancy, also people should have a choice on when to have babies, and people should have access to knowledge and information about giving birth.

Young people should be guidelines about prevention of HIV.

SRHR Coordinator Ms. B. Motaung speaks to the maternal environment of Lesotho as a subset of the day’s proceeding. She declares the importance of women and young girls making clinical follow-ups after missing a period. Prenatal care on nutrition guidelines, vitamins and supplements should be the first step after pregnancy is confirmed.

She also speaks to safe delivery: importance of skilled birth professionals, availability of emergency obstetric care on importance of institution deliveries versus home births.

Also if importance is postpartum care for monitoring impact of child birth on maternal health, that includes services received towards postpartum depression and other mental health concerns, which should be provided by skilled professionals.

Family planning services and contraceptives should also be provided after giving birth to allow the body to heal.

Also, breastfeeding support and lactation counselling before departure at hospital is important.

78% births are given the assistance of midwife, at registered facilities with Ministry of Health.

Teenagers should access family planning. She narrates that nowadays even a 9 year old child gives birth due to rural versus urban experiences that come from a pool of contributing factors that include but are not limited to abuse, rape and relationships. 

Maternal mortality and morbidity of maternal deaths are due to haemorrhage and infections.

Cultural beliefs and lack of education contribute in maternal deaths statistics.

Mr. Ntsukunyane Lekhetho, MISA Director  says journalists must talk more on sexual and reproductive issues forefront on human rights and human rights bill should be included.

The subject of sexual and reproductive health is one that deserves to be covered with sensitivity, nuance, and an unwavering commitment to accuracy and justice.

Journalists have a vital role to play in shedding light on these important issues, breaking down the stigma and misinformation that can hinder progress.

By providing comprehensive, impartial coverage of sexual and reproductive health issues, they can empower readers with knowledge, encourage open dialogue, and contribute to a more informed and compassionate society.

Mr. Dyke from Ministry of Information, Communication, Science, Technology and Innovation elaborates that journalists should report with understanding because media is a catalyst for a change for gender equality and sustainable development.

The stories of gender equality and sustainable development are often shrouded in silence, buried beneath a mountain of indifference and ignorance.

It is the journalist’s task to unearth these stories, to shine a light on the injustices and inequalities that persist in our world.

By amplifying the voices of those who have been marginalized and silenced, by challenging the systems and institutions that perpetuate oppression and exploitation, journalists can be powerful agents of change.

From the first stirrings of life in the womb to the first breath of a newborn, prenatal, labor, and postpartum care are a series of vital moments in the journey of parenthood.

The health and well-being of both mother and child are at stake, and it’s crucial that they receive the support and care they need to ensure a healthy start. This is a time of wonder and vulnerability, of joy and trepidation, and every moment counts.