The World’s Mothers Don’t Always Get The Care They Need

Two months into my first pregnancy, I suffered a miscarriage and needed to seek medical care.

Although a miscarriage is difficult for any woman to experience, I had access to the best care. My physician was excellent, I trusted her judgment, and the imaging equipment, laboratory facilities and clinical care were all first-rate.

That’s not surprising — except that I was then living in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, the capital city of one of India’s poorest states.

Photo: Bina Valsangkar

In 2012, as a freshly minted pediatrician, I left my home in Washington, D.C., to manage a newborn-health project aimed at strengthening essential newborn care practices like breast-feeding and infection detection in rural Uttar Pradesh.

In Lucknow, a city of more than 2 million, the gap between rich and poor was a fact of life. For a foreigner like me, who grew up in the United States, it was my first real-life immersion into A Tale of Two Cities.
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