Advanced search

Amazing documentary tonight on BBC1 at 10.35pm - Four Born Every Second - a kind of global OBEM

(215 Posts)
MmeLindor Mon 19-Nov-12 19:25:23


I saw a preview today and it is both shocking and inspiring.

287,000 women die from pregnancy related causes every year, 99% of them in developing countries.

The film shows the difference between UK and US births and those in Cambodia and Sierra Leone.

It does contain quite distressing scenes of still birth, so maybe not for you if you are currently pregnant.

I blogged about it today (link on profile) to give you an idea what it is about and will be watching again tonight.

TanteRose Tue 20-Nov-12 03:56:24

link to article in the Independent

I haven't seen the programme as am outside UK - it may turn up on Youtube eventually...

stargirl1701 Tue 20-Nov-12 04:58:34

The BBC are running a season on poverty in association with the Open University. Above is the address to learn more. You can delve into the background and look at the statistics in depth.

Sorry it's not a link. I'm unsure of how to covert on my iPad.

TanteRose Tue 20-Nov-12 05:06:10


Blackberryinoperative Tue 20-Nov-12 06:22:01

Little ly ly sad so heartbreaking.

WhispersOfWickedness Tue 20-Nov-12 06:45:21

Oh, of course, Iplayer, I didn't think of that blush Hope to catch it soon, it sounds very interesting, if upsetting sad

Meglet Tue 20-Nov-12 07:35:57

Going back to the nurses in Africa who were working to educate women about ante-natal and health care I'm sure I read an article the other week (possibly in the NYT supplement with the observer) about how mobile phones were getting so cheap that they were starting to use then to get health messages out to rural areas. Not a complete solution but it might give some women and babies a fighting chance.

annia Tue 20-Nov-12 09:09:04

Incredible programme . Such a lot of injustice in the world. As the surgeon in the programme stated the deaths of mothers and their tiny babies are down to rich countries not sharing their resources . Shameful .

PiedWagtail Tue 20-Nov-12 09:16:18

Actually Annia - he said that it was due to Sierra Leone not sharing its own resources with its own people, and there being a huge divide between rich and poor - Sierra Leone is rich in diamonds and silver etc.

PiedWagtail Tue 20-Nov-12 09:18:27

'I haven't watched the programme as not in the UK. Someone upthread referred to how birth in the US is more medicalised, which I'm aware of. But is the suggestion that the higher mortality rate in the US is connected to this?'

Pink Parrot - I thought that they must have been referring to the lower end of the US social scale for that, perhaps women with no money (though how did the homeless woman manage to afford her hospital stay if she had no medical insurance?). Cannot believe that referred to rich people in the US - wonder if there is a connection to more intervention?

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 20-Nov-12 09:25:45

I just watched it using the link one of my teenagers watched it with me as we have a late start today. His observations were

Is that what happens to poor people in country's without a decent welfare system?

I can't think of any answer to this other than yes.

Zorra Tue 20-Nov-12 09:29:37

Meglet there are a few mHealth projects, including MAMA. Information and guidance is a great start, but there are issued of access (e.g. There are stories of women walking for two days in labour to reach facilities), general health issues, harmful traditional practices (e.g. The problems of obstetrics for women who have been circumcised) and all sorts else... (I'm a humanitarian aid worker in Africa btw, so have seen some of this first hand)

TanteRose Tue 20-Nov-12 09:40:27

this is really nice interview with the director, Brian Hill

MmeLindor Tue 20-Nov-12 09:47:31

I read that the higher maternal mortality rate is due to three things

- higher incidence of obesity, which causes rise in pregnancy complications
- medicalised births, because docs are scared of being sued for not intervening
- lack of health insurance, so women don't attend pre-natal checks

which doesn't mean that all women will experience all three of these, but the combination means that they have around double the deaths during and after pregnancy than most EU nations.

Interestingly, the next closest of the EU nations is France, which has 10 deaths per 100,000 births (compared to US 16 deaths). The French health system is very good, but they too tend towards high rates of intervention, and a medicalised birth.

MmeLindor Tue 20-Nov-12 09:54:23

I am not sure about that, but will try and find out. This is the centre where they were helped

It was an interesting contrast - to see the yoga/alternative birthing/doula in US which is great when you have the medical backup if things go wrong, but not when it is all there is (as in Sierra Leone's 'natural births').

PolkadotCircus Tue 20-Nov-12 09:59:05

Dp and I are so utterly grateful for my 2 C/Ss.Without them all 3 of my 3 wouldn't be here and neither would I.That's 4 lives that would have been lost.

Have always thought that as a nation we don't appreciate the fantastic care and interventions we get when having babies.We spend far too much time obsessing over things that are relatively small in the grand scheme of things and not enough appreciation for procedures that are the difference between life and death.

This documentary made me very grateful to have had my babies here.

MmeLindor Tue 20-Nov-12 10:00:59

The CDC in Kenya are trialing a programme to use text messages to contact patients who have had an HIV test - when the results are entered in the computer at the testing centre, a text is sent to the doctor or health centre, who then sends a text to the patient to let them know the results are in.

Mobile phone receptions is generally good even in remote areas, and there is a lot of work going on to use this technology.

Sadly, I have to agree with Zorra though - this is only a tiny part of the problem. Actually getting the women to the hospital is a much larger issue. There is no ambulance service, and few have cars or even motorbikes. We saw ill people being transported to hospitals on the backs of motorbikes - one elderly man was sandwiched between two youths to stop him falling off the bike.

Our guide called it 'the African ambulance'.

Imagine being in labour and having to walk to hospital, or getting on the back of a motorbike and being driven along roads with potholes big enough to drop a Twingo into. Not to mention what the roads are like when it rains.

butane123 Tue 20-Nov-12 10:03:03

oh no i missed this does any one no if its going to be shown again ? x

PolkadotCircus Tue 20-Nov-12 10:03:42

I'll never forget that doc re health care(or the lack of it)for the poor in the US.It was utterly shocking,they literally get nothing.One guy needed a life saving op and was simply being left to die as he had no insurance.Hoards of people with rotten teeth,really ill etc who queued in the night when a volunteer doc dropped by.

I can soo see why mortality rates are high in the US.Many of these poorer women will be extremely run down before they even got pg.

MmeLindor Tue 20-Nov-12 10:05:52

Here is the iPlayer link

butane123 Tue 20-Nov-12 10:09:06

thank you going to have a watch now xx

FairiesWearPoppies Tue 20-Nov-12 10:11:44

It is on I player. Just how sad is this? My ds was stillborn but was revived was an emcs how upsetting am I likely to find this?

Nancy66 Tue 20-Nov-12 10:14:25

it is upsetting Fairies, there are images of dead babies

Whatevertheweather Tue 20-Nov-12 10:23:05

Pretty harrowing viewing - am watching on iplayer clutching my 13 week old dd3.

My beautiful dd2 died shortly after birth last year but watching this makes me realise how lucky we were that she was given the very best chance at life by our amazing nhs and that I didn't die having her.

Very very sad.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 20-Nov-12 10:23:07

I think if you had never had the experiences you have had, you would still find it upsetting.

I was on the verge of turning the tv off many times, but didn't because the programme was excellent and it felt almost disrespectful to turn it off iyswim, not just to the people who live in those countries, but to that amazing doctor and his staff.

FairiesWearPoppies Tue 20-Nov-12 10:26:17

Oh dear lord

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now