GatesNotes: Heroes in Africa fighting the pandemic – and the next one
Mamello Makhele, 2021 Fellowship Alumna from Lesotho, is a nurse-midwife working to improve health care for women in rural Lesotho, where there are high rates of maternal mortality. During her Fellowship, she participated in a Leadership in Civic Engagement Institute hosted by Appalachian State University.
During the pandemic lockdowns, many health facilities closed, leaving women living in these remote communities without access to family planning services. On foot and by donkey, Mamello travels high into the mountains to offer health care, deliver babies, and distribute contraceptives. Mamello has also worked nationwide to empower young women, encouraging them to take control of their health and prevent unwanted pregnancies. Thanks to her incredible work, many women are healthier today in Lesotho.