Every minute, a pregnant woman dies around the world from complications during pregnancy, delivery or shortly afterward-from Sierra Leone, to Afghanistan, to Haiti. Of the more than half a million women who die during pregnancy or childbirth annually, 90 per cent occur in Africa and Asia. In Sierra Leone, the lifetime risk of a woman dying from complications of pregnancy and childbirth is one in eight.

This is the story of Mamma Sessay, 18, who screamed in pain and fear “I am going to die” as she lay on the delivery table at the Magburaka Government Hospital in Sierra Leone. These words proved to be prophetic as Sessay had postpartum hemorrhaging and died after she delivered the second of twin babies.

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