Sunday, December 23, 2012

She's having a baby

Guinea-Bissau is one of the deadliest places in the world to give birth!

Pregnant woman tends rice in Guinea Bissau

Guinea-Bissau's maternal mortality rate is the fourth-highest in the world, after Afghanistan, Somalia and Chad. Guinea-Bissau stands out for these dire statistics. One in 13 women dies from complications during pregnancy - one of the highest death rates in the world, compared to about 1 in 2,100 in the United States.

13-year-old brides have children before their bodies are ready — about 7 percent of girls under 15 are already married.

This woman (approx) age 25 yrs has 5 children

The majority of women do not regularly visit health centers due insufficient health care workers in rural areas, and lack of free, efficient transport to health centers.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) runs a mobile clinic touring 16 villages to give pregnant women free consultations and train community volunteers to identify at-risk mothers. CRS also has a center called House of Mothers, a residential facility set up in Gabu but Gabu is very far away from the tiny, remote village of Djati.

Pregnant women in the village continue to work in the fields right up until delivery.

Two thirds of women prefer to have babies in their villages, where they sit in a stew of warm water and banana leaves as matrons coax labor along. However, if anything goes wrong, they are far from a hospital (most mothers in Guinea-Bissau die because complications are diagnosed too late).

As in many parts of western Africa, Guinea-Bissau's hospitals are few and far between. A journey of just 11 miles can take three hours by foot, or cost up to $20 for a car, should one happen to be available. Even if a mother gets to a hospital, families must purchase anesthesia drugs before emergency operations can take place.

For women in developing nations—far more so than for women in wealthy countries like the U.S childbirth poses significant risks. Click here to take a quiz, and get a sense of the stark disparities in maternal health for women and what can be done to close the gap.

 Help Build a Medical Clinic in Djati, Guinea Bissau

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