Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

22 January 2010

5 days to go: Burkina Faso Maternal Mortality Campaign Countdown

5 days to go: Burkina Faso Maternal Mortality Campaign Countdown
Idrissa Dicko who lost his young wife and baby in childbirth, Burkina Faso, june 2009The story of Safiatou* is one of the 50 cases that Amnesty International’s researchers investigated in-depth. Safiatou died while trying to reach a health centre after delivering at home.

Safiatou, 26, married her cousin Hamidou when she was 14 years old. They lived in a village about 100km south of Ouagadougou, where they farmed livestock. She already had four children when she became pregnant again in 2007.

Safiatou’s husband told Amnesty International: “The day of her delivery, she was in good health and worked all afternoon as usual without any problem. She prepared tô [a local dish made from maize flour] for her children and went to get the hay for the animals. In the evening, when her labour began, she left for her mother’s home. Her mother came to warn me that she was not well, that we had to take her to the clinic. I do not have a motorcycle, so I had to go and get one. That made us lose time.” The husband added that he “did not know that she should have delivered at the clinic. When I came to fetch her at her mother’s house, she had lost consciousness.”

The husband borrowed a small motorcycle from his neighbour, but it did not have any fuel and the closest gas station was 10km away. They had to first push the motorcycle for 10 km… Safiatou ended up delivering at home, but there was placenta retention and serious haemorrhaging.

Her husband asked a friend to help him take Safiatou to the health center but she died on the motorcycle 4km away from the health centre.

Safiatou left five boys, aged 11, nine, seven and four, and the newborn baby.

* not real name

If you want to hear more on how Amnesty International will campaign so that women like Safiatou stop dying giving birth, watch this space tomorrow.
Picture:  A man holding a picture of his wife who died in childbirth, Burkina Faso. Copyright Anna Kari


Burkina Faso 




Demand Dignity 
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 
Medical And Health 


Demand Dignity 

@amnestyonline on twitter


11 July 2014

Refugees in Nairobi are appealing against a controversial ruling that would force thousands of Somalis from their homes to live in squalid overcrowded camps in north Kenya.

Read more »
19 June 2014

Chile’s commitment to decriminalize abortion in cases where the pregnancy was the result of rape, the woman’s life is in danger and when the foetus is not viable is a positive... Read more »

10 July 2014

The sentencing of five media workers in Myanmar each to 10 years’ imprisonment with hard labour for “disclosing state secrets” makes today a dark day for freedom of expression... Read more »

11 July 2014

Amnesty International has gathered graphic and compelling evidence of savage beatings and other torture meted out against activists, protesters and journalists in eastern... Read more »

08 July 2014

Amnesty International is calling on the Israeli authorities and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, including the military wing of Hamas, to ensure that civilian lives are... Read more »