December 02, 2013


africa › maternalhealth › video › womensrights ›


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The Most Dangerous Place in the World to Have a Baby: An Al Jazeera Video

This post was written by our fabulous intern Sara Chatterjee - catch her on Twitter @sarachatterjee

“Why is childbirth such risky business in Africa?” asks Redi Thlabi in this episode of Al Jazeera’s South to North.

What makes this video particularly worth watching, you ask? Hands down Hans Rosling’s explanation of maternal mortality statistics using props, and an interesting debate on family planning. Rosling is unequivocally opposed to imposed family planning and much more in favour of educating young couples so they can make their own informed choices. He provides interesting and often little known examples – for example that of Sierra Leone, where young men are educated about contraceptives at “husband school”.

 The other guests on the show bring different perspectives to the table that make this episode very balanced. Deliwe Nyathikazi of the International Confederation of Midwifes, for example, highlights the medical side of maternal and infant mortality, while Sanjana Bhardwaj of UNICEF speaks, among other things, of the larger debate over foreign aid to development. The most striking part of the episode is how these different accounts are ultimately very closely linked to each other: healthcare, international aid, traditional customs and the positions that women hold in their communities are all central to the maternal health care debate.

Interested yet? You can watch the video right here:

Samar Shaheryar
Samar Shaheryar


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