Inter Press Service: “There is Nothing Worse Than Holding a Dying Woman in Your Arms”

IPS correspondent Sabine Clappaert interviews MARLEEN TEMMERMAN, head of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at the World Health Organization (WHO)

BRUSSELS, Jan 20 2013 (IPS) - Despite staggering advances in medical science and technology over the years, women around the world continue to suffer gravely as a result of inadequate access to basic reproductive health services.

Roughly 134 million women are “missing” worldwide as a result of sex-selective abortions and neglect of newborn girls. Complications in childbirth are responsible for the deaths of over 350,000 women annually, 99 percent of them from developing countries.

Against this backdrop, the appointment this past October of fifty-nine-year-old Marleen Temmerman – known as ‘Mama Daktari’ in Kenya, where she worked as a gynaecologist for many years – as head of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at WHO, is a promising move in the right direction.

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