Stories

The Angola Project works to improve diagnosis and treatment of childhood disease. {Photo by Carmen Urdaneta 2004.}Photo by Carmen Urdaneta 2004.

Improving Quality of Health Services in the Worst of Circumstances "Take me to surgery!" Sofia screams the words, battling after the hours of pain she has endured. She lies on a small bed in the Cacuaco Health Center maternity ward, where two nurses are doing their best to help her. Sofia arrived several hours earlier, brought in after laboring in her home for hours. Even though she was given three doses of the labor-inducing drug Pitocin, she has not given birth.

What does a single mosquito inside a house in Burkina Faso have to do with a regional economic community of over 100 million people? For the countries of West Africa, this is an increasingly important question. In Mali, the government's program of insecticide-treated bed nets is bringing down the number of incidences of malaria in children. Although the technology for treating bed nets is available in Burkina Faso, the program hasn't been as successful there.

Kabul, Afghanistan: Every year, 23,000 Afghan mothers die in childbirth. What should be one of life's most joyous events instead turns tragic, when one in six women die annually during labor. Countless numbers of children die with them. Even more staggering is that over half of all deaths among Afghan women between the ages of 15 and 49 are a direct result of pregnancy and childbirth.

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