Malawi counts among the poorest economies of the world, and thus occupies almost inevitably the first place in the sad statistics of maternal mortality among all countries not involved in wars. In the capital of Lilongwe, three obstetricians care for four million women and yearly help 12,000 children into this world.
This dearth of personnel, unthinkable in the Northern Hemisphere, together with the low status of girls and women in African society, is responsible for the fact that out of 100,000 pregnant women 1,800 do not survive giving birth (based on estimates of the World Health Organization WHO). In present-day Germany, just 9 out of 100,000 die at delivery. The current figure from Malawi lies appallingly close to the one prevalent in Europe of the Middle Ages.