With an estimated 18 million residents, Lagos is on track to be Africa's largest city by 2015. This megacity has a burgeoning middle class and attracts migrants from throughout the region. But as urbanization spreads, millions still lack basic sanitation and health care - Nigeria's maternal mortality rate is among the highest in the world, with 1 in 13 women dying while pregnant or giving birth.

Coached by international staff, a team of Nigerian midwives offers free maternity care to slum residents at a Doctors Without Borders clinic in the Makoko slum. When I took these photographs, state-employed doctors had been on strike for 11 weeks and patients could not afford private hospitals, so the clinic proved indispensable.

These photographs are part of an ongoing project examining the universal and culturally-specific aspects of birth around the world.

Copyright 2013 Alice Proujansky

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