Videos on how Maternal Mortality Affects Communities

baby by gabi_menashe

baby by gabi_menashe

When a woman dies during pregnancy, childbirth or due to complications after delivery, it affects not only the family, but also the whole community. These videos, by different human rights organizations, go beyond statistics to tell us the stories of women and their families as they struggle to understand why it is that so many women are dying during childbirth and what needs to be done to stop this.

First, the White Ribbon Alliance produced a four minute video titled Birth and Death explaining the seriousness of Maternal Mortality and how it can be stopped:

UNICEF also created a two minute video to raise awareness about this issue, with 5 steps that can be taken to diminish maternal mortality: education, respect, empowerment, investing and protection.

In this next video, In Silence: Maternal Mortality in India by Human Rights Watch, photographer Susan Meiselas and reporter Dumeetha Luthra traveled to India to follow the story of a woman who died after giving birth:

In Peru, as told by this piece done for CARE by Phil Borges, the Watchmen for Lives program to decrease maternal mortality has proven to be a success: by empowering and educating women from within the communities in the importance of healthcare during pregnancy and by making a chart for midwives with warning signs on when to send women to a clinic – so more are going to clinics to give birth, dramatically reducing the numbers of deaths due to complications during labor.

Amnesty International has this documentary piece, 18 minutes long, about Maternal Mortality in Sierra Leone. One in 8 women die in Childbirth there: the inability to pay for medical attention, a practically non-existent healthcare system, lack of trained medical practitioners and understaffed and understocked clinics are the main reasons. As the women in the video tell: everyone there knows a woman who has died during pregnancy or labor.

And from Australia, students from the Nursing and Midwife program at the University of Sydney have created Birthing Kits that they've delivered to developing countries to try and prevent unnecessary deaths. It includes a plastic sheet to put under the mother, surgical gloves, scalpel blades, gauze, soap and string to tie off the umbilical cord. In the video, they tell of their initiative and the successful experience they've had in Bangladesh.


  • Etmonia Martin

    I am a Liberan (woman) and lost my maternal grandmother during child birth. The baby died also. When I heard this story it really shook me and told myself that I would do something about it. Now years later, I am doing my thesis on Maternal Mortality. Moreover, I am director of a local ngo that does education in the form of entertainment and we are embarking on a project to educate neighborhood women and their families on the importance antenatal and postnatal visits and how to detect early complications. this is more expensive than we thought but we are hoping to get help and start soon. i personally feel that all women are entitled to living a full life that should not be cut short by childbearing complications, most of which are preventable. Look forward to hearing from you. etmonia

  • A good article on maternal health issues. I am writing on behalf of Women and Children First, who like White Ribbon Alliance also advocate maternal health concerns, seeking to raise awareness and reduce the number of mothers and babies that die in childbirth in the developing world.

    There is a web link to the organisation, if you require information.

    Women and Children First

    Thank you for your support!

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