Health Riders in Lesotho are helping to combat HIV. The Kingdom of Lesotho in Africa has the third highest HIV prevalence in the world. Almost one in four people in Lesotho are living with the virus.
With no intervention, up to 45% of babies born to HIV-positive mothers could be born with or contract the virus. This can be reduced to less than 5% with effective interventions. And Lesotho is fighting back, with HIV counsellors like Lefulesele Masokanye on the frontline.
Much of her time is spent out in the villages, encouraging pregnant mothers to attend check-ups and get treatment. If they are put on prophylaxis early enough in pregnancy, there is a very good chance they will not pass HIV to their babies.
Lefulesele is one of Lesotho’s Health Riders who travels far and wide to make sure HIV-positive mothers do whatever they can to prevent HIV transmission to their babies. Mothers often refuse to seek treatment because of the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS.
But Lefulesele knows more than most how this can be fatal. She is also HIV positive. Lefulesele had a baby girl. She did not return to the clinic until a month after her baby was born. It was during that visit that she was asked if she would consider working as a HIV Counsellor. Her baby daughter had died in her arms just one month earlier.
In this film, Lefulesele goes to the Saint Magdalena Rural Clinic to see Mamojaki and her three month old baby girl. But soon after arriving she realises there’s bad news.
Mamojaki says she did not go for check ups because she is afraid people would shun her if they knew she was HIV positive. Watch the film to find out if Mamojaki’s baby is also HIV-positive.
The mission of the Health Riders is to prevent someone from dying of an easily preventable or curable disease because they cannot be reached because of the barriers of distance, rough terrain or poverty. Health Riders strengthen heath systems by addressing one of the most neglected, yet vital aspects of development for the health of Africa – transport and logistics.
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