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The Business community in Quthing district, 177 kilometers from Lesotho’s capital Maseru has committed to partake in efforts to thwart the high maternal deaths in Lesotho as well as HIV/AIDS.

During a meeting which forms part of a series organized by the Lesotho Chamber of Commerce and Industry through the support of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund held in Quthing on 17th May, 2016, the traders took with them packages of condoms which were distributed after the session for further distribution in their businesses.

Speaking at the occasion, the District Administrator for Quthing Mrs ‘Mabasia Lepota appealed for full commitment from the Quthing Business Community in averting maternal deaths, HIV/AIDS and teenage pregnancy. “The wealth of Quthing lies with you, therefore it is important that you also take part in ensuring that our women and girls live longer and better lives,” she added.

In the same vein, UNFPA Assistant Representative Mr Retselisitsoe Nko who was speaking on behalf of UNFPA Representative Mrs Therese Zeba Kobeane stated that the business community have a big role to play in preventing maternal deaths, HIV and teenage pregnancy.

He reaffirmed UNFPA’s commitment to work with the business community in expansion of family planning services and preserve the lives of women and girls in Lesotho. He showed that maternal mortality ratio in Lesotho constitutes 1024 per 100 000 live births while teenage pregnancy is 40%.

The President of LCCI Mr Ntaote Seboka emphasized that it is only if people live healthy lives that businesses can flourish, also emphasizing the importance of permitting their employees to live healthy lives and providing support to those who are infected and affected.” If they have to visit health facilities, allow them. Let us ensure that our people live for the benefit of our businesses. It is only when we uphold standards that we can avoid diseases and killing our people.  Let us spread the message,” said the president, who also thanked UNFPA for all the support rendered to the business community.

UNFPA’s Supply Chain Coordinator Mr Tlaitlai Sepetla highlighted the participants on the benefits of Family Planning which include preventing pregnancy related risks in women, reducing infant mortality and preventing HIV/AIDS.  He also showed the different types of family planning methods and commodities. UNFPA remains a leaders in HIV prevention, universal access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and advocates for promotion of reproductive health rights and reduction of maternal mortality.

In this meeting, UNFPA served business community with 220 boxes (31680 pieces) of condoms for distribution and availability at their respective operational places. The meeting was attended by approximately 50 business community representatives. The District Administrator was among those who accepted condom packages for further distribution within the community.