Specialist Maternity Care in Haiti is essential. Giving birth in Haiti is risky, with the country having the highest maternal death rate in the western hemisphere. Only a quarter of births are supervised by skilled medics.
A new maternity hospital built entirely out of shipping containers, by Medecins Sans Frontieres, is providing specialist care for mothers and babies at risk. It was created as a rapid response to the devastation caused by the earthquake, which put many health centres out of action.
MSF have set up four hospitals like this in Haiti for local doctors and nurses. The one we visited in this film has one hundred and twenty beds. A container hospital can be set up in five or six months. The hospitals specialise in caring for mothers whose lives, or those of their babies, are in danger.
In our film we see a woman who has complications in her pregnancy, so her baby is being carefully monitored using ultrasound. In Haiti, more than 300 babies are born every month. Many of them are small and weak, so this neonatal ward is designed to give them the special care they need. Basic incubators have replaced the more sophisticated ones that were lost in the earthquake.
Life remains extremely challenging in Haiti.