Friday, May 09, 2008

As if being mother ain't hard enough...

Save the Children has recently released its 2008 Report on the World's Mothers. Things don't look good for the mães angolanas:
Bottom 10:
143/Sierra Leone

See the report for indicators.

Just a story to show how hard it is to give birth in Angola. I'm friends with a Cuban couple in Lobito, the husband being a doctor in the better clinics and hospitals in town. His lovely wife was pregnant and went into labor the first week of March. I was in Luanda and on the road back to Lobito when I got a frantic phone call from my friend Anne. "Where are you and what is your blood type?!"

It turns out that the wife had a fine labor but then in recovery started to bleed profusely and needed a transfusion. Unfortunately, there was no blood to be had in Angola's 2nd largest city. Luckily, with a few phone calls, they were able to track down a few donors and she got her transfusion.

Now, keep in mind that my friend was married to one of the best doctors in town and had all of Lobito's resources at her disposal (no matter how pawltry they were). Now replace my friend with a poor woman from Canata, one of Lobito's worst neighborhood, and replace the private clinic with the state hospital, and imagine what would have happened.

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