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BBC OnePanorama


Last Updated: Sunday, 26 June 2005, 20:07 GMT 21:07 UK
Dead mums don't cry
Grace Kodindo, an obstetrician in Chad
BBC One, Sunday, 26 June 2005 at 22:15 BST

Becoming a mum in Africa can be among the most frightening and dangerous jobs in the world. Panorama investigates why more than half a million women die every year in pregnancy and childbirth.

As part of the BBC's Africa Season, Panorama has filmed one woman's struggle to stop mothers in her country dying. She's Grace Kodindo - an obstetrician in the poverty-stricken central African country of Chad. Women in Chad have a 1 in 11 chance of dying during pregnancy or in childbirth. The risk for women in the UK is 1 in 5100.

Cutting maternal mortality by three quarters by 2015 was one of the eight Millennium Development Goals set by 189 countries in 2000. Five years on, progress is far behind schedule - and Panorama reveals it's slowest on the goals that affect women and children.

But Panorama's investigation shows there is reason for hope. A few poor countries have succeeded in saving mothers' lives. Steve and Grace travel to Honduras, which has cut maternal mortality far faster than some wealthier neighbours. A key reason is that influential men and women cared enough to make the issue a priority.

Production team:
Reporter: Steve Bradshaw
Producer: Tristan Quinn
Associate Producer: Lucy Willmore
Deputy Editors: Andrew Bell, Frank Simmonds
Editor: Mike Robinson

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