The most dangerous place in the world to be pregnant, an article which appeared yesterday in The Western Mail, hones in on Sierra Leone as the most dangerous place to deliver a child. There’s nothing exceptional about the story. It’s been written hundreds, probably thousands of times, with good reason.
In the last twenty years, there have been no improvements in saving the lives of the half a million women worldwide who die each year giving birth. This doesn’t have to happen. If every woman had access to simple treatments for common problems in pregnancy and childbirth, backed up by emergency obstetric care near where they live, three quarters of these deaths could be averted. The cost of doing this every year would be less than a third of what the United States spends on the Iraq War each month. I can guarantee you that if half a million men were dying of anything related to their genitals, the world would care.
The above photo is titled New baby and proud mother, Kabala, Sierra Leone (West Africa) and is via the creative commons Flickr stream of gbaku.
Susanna Smith is the Program Officer for Communications at the International Women’s Health Coalition. Read her bio here.