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Survival: Lives in the Balance

Fit for Life (Bangladesh) (4 of 4) (#104)

A young woman - just a girl, really - is crouching on the floor of her family's house. She's in labor. She isn't being whisked away to a hospital to give birth. This is rural Bangladesh. She's going to have her baby at home, just like over 90% of mothers in Bangladesh. A dhai is at her side, a woman with no medical training, yet she has delivered most of the children in this village. Her tools are a razor blade and a string to tie off the umbilical cord. In different village, another young woman gives birth in a clinic with the aid of trained medical professionals. A health specialist had coached her through her pregnancy, and will visit the family during the first weeks of the baby's infancy. This child and her mother stand a much better chance of surviving birth and the first year of life. [50 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Series Description: Millions of people in the developing world, mostly children, die each year from treatable and preventable diseases. Slowly, that is beginning to change as economic growth lifts hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty and the circumstances known to perpetuate disease. SURVIVAL: LIVES IN THE BALANCE is a landmark documentary series about global health. Four one-hour films take viewers into villages in the Philippines, Uganda, Niger and Bangladesh, where people suffer from diseases and conditions long since conquered in other parts of the world. Cameras following subjects from pregnancy to birth, through the formative years of a child's development and into adulthood to capture the pain of loss and witness the triumph of hope.

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