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Birth is a Dream: Maternity in Africa

Paolo Patruno | Uganda, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo

Elisabeth, 34 years old, is pregnant of her 4th child; she is worried as delivering in africa is a huge risk for life women

Every year in Sub-Saharan Africa, 200,000 mothers die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, 1,5 million African children are left without a mother. A mother's death is a human tragedy, affecting families and communities. Her death endangers the lives of a surviving newborn and any other young children.

A great many of these deaths are preventable, when women have access to quality prevention, diagnostic, and treatment services; most maternal death and morbidity can be prevented when pregnancy and childbirth are attended by skilled health professionals (nurses, midwives or doctors).

In Sub-Saharan Africa adequate health services are often unavailable or inaccessible, leading many women to give birth in facilities without adequate equipment and services, as well as at home without skilled providers.

I named my on-going documentary project "Birth is a dream" which aims to document and raise awareness about maternity crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa. It has been shot across DRC, Malawi, and Uganda in 2011 and 2012.


I am an italian social-documentary photographer and videomaker, and I’m interested in documenting global topics, including health care, education, human rights, sustainable development, poverty.

I’m working on my personal long term project about the Maternity crisis in Africa and developing countries.

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