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WIDE ANGLE | Birth of a Surgeon | PBS The film Birth of a Surgeon follows Emilia Cumbane, one of the firstmidwives-in-training. She performs Cesareans and hysterectomies in makeshift operating rooms in rural Mozambique. We follow Cumbane from her home in the Mozambican capital Maputo, into intensive medical classes, through night shifts in the delivery wards, and watch as she fights for recognition of her surgical competence. With more than half a million women dying in pregnancy or childbirth worldwide, Mozambique's surgical training programs are being hailed as a model solution in confronting the maternal health crisis facing developing countries. The film captures one woman's story on the frontlines of improving maternal mortality but it also demonstrates how low-cost, community-based health initiatives are changing the face of public health in Africa. "I like to be a midwife," Cumbane says. "I think it's a good profession to produce people." The first class of almost 30 surgical midwives trained in delivery techniques and advanced surgery graduate in July 2008. For the 2009 update, WIDE ANGLE host Aaron Brown travels to a rural hospital in Mozambique to meet with Cumbane to see how both she and the program are faring. Cumbane, now the head of the maternal ward, has a two-week-old baby herself, and Brown explores the successes and obstacles she has faced over the last year, as she has tried to juggle her personal and professional commitments, all the while working to help save women's lives. For more go to
Length: 03:15


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