PODCAST EPISODE

One of the deadliest places on Earth to have a baby

Post Reports

May 6 2022 • 19 mins


Today on Post Reports, we go to Sierra Leone, where having a baby can mean risking your life.


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Today, we follow the story of Susan Lebbie. Lebbie is 17 and has just given birth to her son, Evan. Throughout her pregnancy she was terrified of facing the same fate as her mother, who died while giving birth to Susan.


Susan’s fears are not unfounded: One in 20 women in Sierra Leone die as a result of pregnancy or childbirth, according to the latest United Nations estimate, most often from losing blood. The West African country consistently ranks as one of the deadliest places on Earth to have a baby. But practically every death is preventable.


To be pregnant in Sierra Leone is to be at the mercy of resource-strapped institutions and the global trends shaping them. Survival is too often up to luck. West Africa bureau chief Danielle Paquette reports.