Victoria J. married in 2009 at age 14, and became pregnant shortly after. “I started labour in the morning on a Friday …. The nurse kept checking and saying I would deliver safely. On Monday she said I was weak.
The story goes like this: a young mother lies quietly in a dimly lit room having just given birth to her baby. For the next seven days she watches over the child with caution, nursing and swaddling it patiently. Fearful that the infant will not survive past a few days, she refuses to give it a name.
Every single day, 452 women in sub-Saharan Africa die from pregnancy-related causes; that’s 18 women every hour.
In most developing countries, where a woman gives birth still determines whether she lives or dies, despite the availability of inexpensive new medication that is proven to save lives.
“I can’t imagine life without misoprostol,” says Dr. Azra Ahsan, a gynaecologist and obstetrician who has, for more than a decade, been using the controversial drug to stop women from bleeding to death after delivery.
At the Kakonko Health Centre, about 250 kilometres from the nearest hospital in Kigoma Region, Western Tanzania, assistant medical officer Abdu Mapinduzi prepares to operate on Joanitha, a young pregnant mother.
A year after the Laotian government launched a safe pregnancy programme news of this initiative, involving the dispatch of teams of midwives across the country, is yet to reach women in the remote communities.
One year after the formation of South Sudan, the country’s women say that independence has not resulted in the positive political, economic and social changes that they had hoped for.
Experts say that underfunded pilot universal healthcare sites to be set up by South Africa as part of its proposed national health insurance may be doomed to fail as debate rages about how the move to more equitable healthcare will be funded.
The reproductive rights agenda, from improving women’s access to education to systematic family planning to reducing birth rates and combating poverty, has become a cornerstone of most industrialised nations’ development policies toward the least developed countries (LDCs), comprised primarily of sub-Saharan African states.