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Al Jazeera | Ebola in Liberia
Liberian midwives are being trained as surgeons to assume the role of maternal health doctors killed by Ebola.
Director: Dan Boaden
Producer: Dan Boaden
July 2016

Before the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, the country had a total of 50 doctors for its population of 4.3 million.


In comparison, there are 50 doctors available to every 100,000 people in the US.

This, taken together with Liberia's extremely high maternal mortality rate, which sees three women dying every day, means the health system is buckling under the strain.  

Many deaths would be preventable with simple surgery and adequate equipment. A chronic lack of doctors, however, means that many maternity wards are overstretched and understaffed.


In this film, we meet the midwives being enrolled on ambitious advanced obstetrics and surgery courses to replace these "missing doctors". The process is called task-shifting and is run by the international charity Maternal Childhealth Advocacy International.


The Cure presenter Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng meets Dr Obed Dolo, who is helping transform midwives into surgeons.

About The Cure

The Cure is an award-winning series exploring solutions to today’s most pressing health problems. 


Presented by practicing medics, The Cure takes you on a journey to the frontiers of world health, from cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs to advances in affordable healthcare for those who need it most. This series looks at some of the world’s most intractable health problems and the inspirational people working to find a cure.



Credit List
Producer / Director
Director of Photography
David Aspinall