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Living Proof: Nepal – Dangerous Day
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Living Proof: Nepal – Dangerous Day
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ViewChange: The Mothers Index
The dangers of childbirth become amplified when mothers live in remote and poverty-stricken areas. In the Himalayan foothills of Nepal, far from any clinics or hospitals, a young mother struggles with the fear of complications during the birth of her daughter. This film examines how skilled birth attendants can dramatically improve the survival odds for both the mother and child.
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Produced by Living Proof. For more information, go to ONE.org/livingproof.
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Segment 1

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Part 1: Delivery Day
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In one of the world's poorest places, the day a woman gives birth is the most dangerous day of her life, and her child's life. Can one woman and her baby beat the odds?
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Western Nepal
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People scratch out a living in the Himalayan foothills, and life is hardest for women.
MAESHWORI
My name is Maeshwori. I'm 19 years old. My husband went to India to work. Here there is no food, no rice, no nothing. Around here, there's no work.
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Maeshwori is pregnant and past due.
MAESHWORI
I am very, very scared. Everyone has been asking about it, and that makes me even more scared. My first child was breech born, and I might just die this time. If I will live, I will live. If I will die, I will die.
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The nearest hospital is four hours away.
MAESHWORI
Some said take her to the hospital, some said drive her down. Everyone had opinions. But how would you get a car without money?
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She plans to deliver in the same place she gave birth before.
MAESHWORI
In November my daughter was born. I had the baby in our cow shed.
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By local custom, mother and child are quarantined as "unclean."
MAESHWORI
For 12 days after the birth, the baby and I were kept in the cow shed. On the 13th day we were allowed out. You can't take a newborn in the house; God gets angry. You're better off in the cow shed.
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Because of Maeshwori's high-risk pregnancy, an aid worker traveling with the camera crew makes a case to village elders. They consent to having a birth attendant, and she won't give birth in the cow shed.
MAESHWORI
I am going to die. Oh my mother! I am dying ...
WOMAN
Get me the gloves, quickly.
MAESHWORI
I am dying ... am dying. Please ... I can't.
WOMAN
It's a complete breech situation. Push hard!
INDUKA KARI [CARE Program Officer]
She was completely unaware of the fact that she would need medical care because her first child was breech born.
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She gives birth to another daughter, Seema.
INDUKA KARI
If she hadn't gotten proper care by a trained birth attendant, she would've died.
MAESHWORI
I'll rest for seven days, but then it's back to work. I have to pound the rice, carry water, cut grass, and chop wood. Life is tough here.
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Living Proof. Real Lives. Real Progress.
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In Nepal, 80 percent of births occur at home with no skilled birth attendant like Maeshwori had. But support from global partners is helping train Nepal's 45,000 female health volunteers, and they are dramatically improving Nepal's health outcomes.
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In Part 2. Living Proof. Real Lives. Real Progress. www.one.org/livingproof