Over half a million women die every year in pregnancy and childbirth, the majority from preventable causes. 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 is slowest on those goals that affect women and children.
Becoming a mother in Africa can be among the most frightening and dangerous jobs in the world. ‘Dead Mums Don’t Cry’ 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, where women have a one in 11 chance of dying during pregnancy or in childbirth. The investigation also shows there is reason for hope. A few poor countries have succeeded in saving mothers’ lives – Honduras has cut maternal mortality far faster than some wealthier neighbours.