Chapter 6 of Half The Sky was interesting because it talked about the danger of child birth, and how many women living in poverty can become very sick or die because of pregnancy. These are problems that we, in America and first world countries, take for granted. Our advanced medical procedures help prevent a lot of these problems, however in places like Ethiopia there is not much help.
This chapter opened up with a story about Mahabouba Muhammad, who had a very tough life. She was sold as a wife to an older man and became pregnant at age 13. When she went into labor, her pelvis wasn’t developed yet and she went into obstructed labor, with the child stuck inside of her. Eventually a birth attendant came to help her but she lost the baby, couldn’t walk or stand, and lost control of her bladder and bowels. The people in her village saw this as a curse and forced her to move in a hut outside of the village. They also removed the door so that the hyenas could come get her at night. After she had enough, she crawled from her hut to a western missionary where she was taken care of instantly.
She ended up at the Addia Ababa Fistula Hospital, where many other young women had suffered from the same fate. I feel that the people who started this hospital are successful in the fact that they are helping so many people every day. The cultures are extremely different in African countries and these people gave them hope, showing them that they are not cursed and someone will be there to help them,
There is a 1 in 7 chance that a woman will die during child birth in western African countries. In contrast, Ireland has a 1 in 47,600 chance of dying during child birth. These statistics prove that the more advances medicine is in a specific place, the less threat there is to a person’s life.
This chapter also mentioned the people who are trying to “treat countries, not patients”. Allan Rosenfield created the organization, Averting Maternal Death and Disability (AMDD). He believed that as a basic human right, women should be able to have a child in a safe way. Now, AMDD is saving children and lives in fifty countries. Having the smallest amount of help can save at least two lives with a mother and child.
I feel like even though we won’t be in a medical field for our South African trip, the idea of “small help can change a lot” will be portrayed. The gardens and fixing up
the school can make someone’s day, and help with their basic human rights as well.