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The worst place in the world to get pregnant

Sierra Leone is the worst place in the world to have a baby. One reason for that is medical fees, which stop women using clinics. But this 20-year-old policy imposed by aid donors on poor countries is finally being challenged

By Alex Renton   April 2010

Mabinti Brima (right) with two of her children and a grandchild. Mabinti’s daughter Sia died while five months pregnant

Mabinti Brima’s home is a two-room shack sheathed in rusty corrugated iron. She shares it with 11 members of her family: daughters, their husbands, grandchildren. None have any formal work. Mabinti makes a living by selling cooked chicken offal in the alleys snaking along the hillsides of Dwarzak Farm, one of the biggest slums in Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone.

The shack stinks and it seems improbable that 11 people live there. But now there is one less person…

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