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Lesotho hospital needs help

by
03 January 2014

LEAH GORDON

Prepared: Katharine Hamilton and Maikaneng Tsejane outside the waiting mothers' lodge

Prepared: Katharine Hamilton and Maikaneng Tsejane outside the waiting mothers' lodge

A CHARITY-FUNDED maternity hospital in a remote mountain area of Lesotho is having to review its care because of funding levels.

St James Mission Hospital is supported by Us, the charity formerly known as USPG. Katharine Hamilton, who works for Us, spent time at the hospital with pregnant mothers while heavily pregnant herself. She gave birth to a girl on her return to the UK, before Christmas.

Ms Hamilton said that heavily pregnant women have to walk hours to get to the hospital while in labour, with some giving birth on the way, often alone.

The hospital has attempted to help by setting up a waiting-mothers' lodge for women who live some distance away, or those with complications.

Ms Hamilton said: "The waiting-mothers' lodge at St James Hospital is an absolute godsend. Women can come weeks before they give birth. These are women who either live very far away, or who are at high risk during their final stages of pregnancy. . .

"People are vulnerable: some people are poor, and their lives are difficult. . . The staff here are very emotionally involved. They're very passionate about their work. They're doing a fantastic job. And the gospel really is at the heart of everything they do."

As an Anglican hospital, St James's provides pastoral care and social support as well as medical treatment. It celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013. The charity is appealing for donations to support the continued work of the hospital.

www.weareus.org.uk/christmas

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