The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) agenda has been well implemented as it is integrated in the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) II.
This, the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Development Planning, Ms. Nthoateng Lebona said when speaking at a meeting on Development of the Lesotho National Commitment on ICPD held in Maseru on Wednesday.
Ms. Lebona said at this stage, they are able to review progress made and what needs to be done, adding that they intend to leave no one behind by including everyone through communication and advocacy for government and community so that there could be ownership.
She said to further ensure everybody’s participation, they held consultations through which they collected the views of marginalised groups so to be submitted at the Summit in Nairobi later this year.
Ms. Lebona stressed the need to strengthen partnership with the civil society in order to create room for improvement in sexual reproductive issues.
Also speaking was the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative to Lesotho, Dr Dervueew Marc G.L who remarked that since 1994, there has been transformative progress in advancing access to sexual and reproductive health rights and services.
Dr Marc G.L said in Lesotho, there has been a reduction of maternal deaths from 936 per 100 000 live births to 618/100 000 live births (Census 2016), the unmet need for family planning has dropped by 5% from 23% to 18%, the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) has increased by 13% from 47% to 60%, skilled birth attendant has increased from 55% to 78% and facility-based deliveries increased from 52% to 77%.
He however noted that despite these considerable gains, the sexual and reproductive health revolution is still unfinished, noting that too many women and girls are still waiting for all that was promised in Cairo and that sexual and Reproductive rights are still out of reach for too many of them such as adolescent girls, women and girls with disability, the LGBTIQ community and the rural and urban poor women.
UNFPA representative added that although the country has made progress to reduce maternal mortality, many women and girls still die due to pregnancy complications at an alarming rate, saying another great concern is the high HIV infections among young people and young women in Lesotho, high early and unintended pregnancies, harmful practices including child marriages, unmet need for family planning and gender based violence especially during drought situations.
He said all these call for concerted efforts hence why this year, the road from Cairo leads to Nairobi for the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25: Accelerating the promise, co-convened by the Governments of Kenya and Denmark together with UNFPA.
The summit will mobilise political and financial commitments – from governments, communities, financial institutions, private companies and individuals, all of us – to fully and finally deliver on the promises of Cairo.
The summit which is due from November 12 to 14 is a unique opportunity for the government to review its commitment to the further reduction of the maternal mortality.
Source: LENA 25/09/2019