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Ninety-four percent of women in the Horn of Africa country give birth without trained help, compared to only 1 percent in Britain, Save the Children said in a report released on Friday.
More than 2 million women give birth completely alone, without even a friend or relative to help them, "making these some of the most dangerous moments of their lives".
According to the report, 1,000 women and 2,000 babies die every day from birth complications which could easily be prevented -- with women in the poorest countries the least likely to have a skilled attendant at delivery, much more likely to lose their newborn and most likely to die during childbirth.
In Rwanda there are 46 public midwives for 400,000 babies born every year, while neighbouring Uganda has 15,000 trained for 1.5 million women giving birth a year. Women living in rural areas have even less chance of getting help from a midwife.
In some cases, women give birth alone because custom dictates they are unable to leave the house to seek help when they go into labour, in others because they have not secured permission from a male relative to leave their home.
__________________ Joanna wife, mother, blogger, support group leader, perpetually behind on laundry