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“Birth, the African midwives’ fight for life”

July 07, 2016

Launch of the first the Web documentary on the challenges of maternity in Africa

In sub-Saharan Africa, too many women still die in the process of giving new life. Yet most of these deaths could be prevented by improving access to health centers and better-trained, qualified and more numerous staff, especially in rural areas.


In Africa

  • 70% of the population lives in rural areas and 50% below the poverty line1.
  • 90% of the medical staff is concentrated in large urban centers1.
  • Over 200,000 women die each year from complications related to pregnancy of childbirth in sub-Saharan Africa2.
  • 80% of these deaths could be prevented thanks to midwives.

For the past 3 years, the Sanofi Espoir Foundation has been fighting against maternal and neonatal mortality in partnership with the AMREF – Flying Doctors (African Medical & Research Foundation). That’s why today, the Sanofi Espoir Foundation participates in the production of a web-documentary entitled “Birth, the midwives’ fight for life in Africa”.

This documentary shot in Senegal approaches the challenges of maternity to improve maternal health and it presents the everyday life in-the-field of four crossed fates:

Portrait: Oulimata, Florence, Khady & Laura Flessel

Oulimata, midwife student - Florence, midwife - Khady, expecting mother Laura Flessel, Olympic fencing champion, ambassador for AMREF


Discover the teaser “Birth, the midwives’ fight for life in Africa” (in French):


In 2011 AMREF France approached the Sanofi Espoir foundation for the first time, convinced that a merging of the two foundations would be profitable because they shared a common vision of health development and the import mace of encouraging education, as well as communications and reinforcement of the capacities of the local actors.

Thereby the campaign developed by AMREF in partnership with the Sanofi Espoir Foundation -to create a capacity building program for midwives and nurses (PRECIS program) - will allow to develop: the training of 15,000 nurses and midwifes in the French speaking countries of the western regions (initial training, continuous or e learning) by making the access to training easier in the countryside and isolated areas and by updating the training information.




  1. Club Santé Afrique
  2. AMREF-Flying Doctors Press Kit, E-health for Africa, June 2016