Birth of a Surgeon


Also Available as a 45 min version

Sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s deadliest place to give birth.


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Birth of a Surgeon

Birth of a Surgeon

In a region where over a quarter of a million women die in childbirth each year, Mozambique is combating high maternal death rates by implementing unconventional programmes.

This Emmy Award nominated documentary follows Emilia Cumbane, one of the first Mozambican midwives-in-training. From intensive medical classes, through night shifts in the delivery wards as she fights for recognition of her surgical competence. And into makeshift operating rooms across rural Mozambique as she performs caesareans and hysterectomies – and fights to save lives. “I like to be a midwife,” Cumbane says. “I think it’s a good profession – to produce people.”

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.

Director Karin C. Falck
Producer Loui Bernal
Produced by Filmator/Living People Documentary
Co-Produced by Thirteen Wide Angle PBS, SVT, Swedish Filminstitute, IKON & DR
Duration 45 & 52 min.
Year of Production 2009
Original Title Birth of a Surgeon