Mercy Freeman sits on a small hospital cot in one of Liberia’s emergency hospitals, looking down at her frail son, whose dark eye sockets have sunk into his bony face.
Henry Teh gently slides down a blue hospital sheet to expose the bare belly of a pregnant woman. As he pokes around to feel the position of the foetus, the midwife-in-training knows he is breaking tradition and changing the face of obstetric care in Liberia.
In a small office tucked behind the stairwell in Liberia’s Ministry of Education, the once-proud staff of the Girls’ Education Unit appear defeated.
Just a few metres outside the front door of a large white-washed courthouse in north central Liberia, Tete Garwo sells small plastic bags of cold water and passes time by pleading her case to thirsty customers. The 40-year old woman describes how she was forced out of her house by an abusive husband, then deprived of her half of the property.
As heavy rain hammers the grass thatch roof of her mud hut, Goromah Borbor huddles inside and quietly describes how her daughter Annie died while giving birth.