Business, Economics and Jobs

Limited Healthcare Resources Complicate Pregnancy for Teens in Liberia

This story is a part of

Human Needs

This story is a part of

Human Needs

Warning: This report contains descriptions that may not be suitable for everyone.

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A greater proportion of women die as a result of pregnancy or childbirth in Liberia than in almost any other country in the world.

It is very common for 13-year-old Liberian girls to get pregnant.

Their bodies are not ready to cope with pregnancy and that causes all sorts of complications.

Complications that can be made worse by the way traditional midwives work — in some cases even sitting on the mother's stomach to "help" her deliver her baby.

The BBC's Sarah Montague went to meet some children having their own children.

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    A teenage girl holding her child in Liberia. (Photo: Bonnie Allen)

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    Loretta Nuah in Ganta United Methodist Hospital recovering from obstetric fistula. She lost her baby, her urinary and bowel control, and any hope of having another child due to complications and an unqualified midwife. (Photo: Bonnie Allen)