Shortlisted entries 2012

11. Care to hope
Jennifer O’Brien

Meet Joshua. He is three years old. His mother is living with the human immunodeficiency virus, otherwise known as HIV. Joshua has come to the ‘hospital’, in a chronically poor district of rural Uganda, to discover if he is also living with the virus. His chances are good; his mother accessed timely, quality, obstetric care which increased her chances of delivering a healthy baby, five-fold. Yet the World Health Organisation suggests that in sub-Saharan Africa, where the vast majority of infant and maternal deaths occur, less than 50 percent of the population have access to adequate reproductive health services. Poverty is thus perpetuated through an often unbreakable intergenerational link. Joshua did not have the virus. The question then, is why and how, Joshua’s mother accessed biomedical care, when so many other women don’t, or can’t.

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