Main content

Abuse of women in childbirth

Women in childbirth abused; Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology; toilets for all in India; paralysed man walks with exoskeleton; the Vagina Bible part 2

Many women in Guinea, Nigeria, Ghana and Myanmar are slapped, punched or shouted at when they’re giving birth. Research just published in The Lancet says that despite travelling for hours in labour to get to hospital, 5% gave birth all alone and almost half were abused, often during the last 15 minutes of the birth. Claudia spoke to two of the authors, Meghan Bohren from the School of Population and Global Health in Melbourne, Australia, and Dr Theresa Irinyenikan of the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital, Ondo, Nigeria.

Five years ago India’s Prime Minster Narendra Modi pledged that every citizen would be able to use a toilet, instead of answering nature’s nature. This would mean providing toilet facilities for hundreds of millions of people. And now, the Prime Minster has declared the country open defecation free. Reporter Chhavi Sachdev explores if the plan has really worked.

Claudia continues her conversation with gynaecologist and author of the bestselling Vagina Bible – Jen Gunter. They talk about some of the things that women worry about – worries which Jen has seen increase in the last decade.

James Gallagher, BBC Science and Health Correspondent, joins Claudia to talk about the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine and a mind controlled exoskeleton that helped a paralysed man to walk.

(Photo caption: Mothers nurse their babies in a maternity ward in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Credit: Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images)

Health Check was presented by Claudia Hammond

Producer: Andrew Luck-Baker and Paula McGrath

Available now

27 minutes