Sub-Saharan Africa suffers from a shortage of qualified health workers. The risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth are 23 times greater than in developed countries and cause 200,000 deaths each year because women often give birth alone.
UNICEF estimates that 80% of them could be prevented if these women were monitored by qualified health workers. In 2011, under the leadership of Ms Graça Machel Mandela, AMREF, Africa's leading public health NGO, decided to take action by launching the Stand Up for African Mothers campaign to train 15,000 midwives. These can provide nearly 90 per cent of essential care for women and newborns. Here are the latest results of this outstanding initiative.