The Jungle Midwife

Channel 4: Unreported World


Reporter Seyi Rhodes and Director Wael Dabbous travel into the jungles of the Central African Republic with a local midwife tending to mothers under threat from poor medical conditions and from the LRA.

Olga Yetikoua is employed by the International Medical Corps and faces a daily struggle to save the lives of mothers and babies in a country that’s one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth.  From a clinic base in the remote diamond-mining town of Bria in Eastern CAR she makes arduous journeys into the jungle to help women and babies who would die without her intervention.  There is no electricity, no ultrasound and Olga can use only the drugs she can carry on her.

The scenes the team films are emotional and raw, but often uplifting. They’re always urgent. If Olga doesn’t reach a mother in time, the chances are she and her child will die. ‘The only babies that survive birth out here are the ones with no complications during labour,” she tells Rhodes.

As the Unreported World team joins Olga on treks and river crossings to villages hidden in the jungle they hear constant accounts of recent atrocities carried out by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Olga and the team discover villages full of refugees who’ve fled attacks by LRA fighters.  

In this remote area the new government’s forces are thinly stretched and the LRA appears to be operating with impunity.  The refugees are terrified, and when Olga examines their children she discovers many are malnourished and suffering from malaria.

They meet people who’ve had children or relatives kidnapped, another man who’d just escaped from captivity. The mother of one sick infant tells Olga how she narrowly escaped an LRA attack.’ If they see you, even if you're with men and children, they’ll take everyone. The only way to save yourself is to run.”

17 year-old Chancella Lobo tells Olga that as she fled from her village, she started to feel contractions but had to keep running. “They spotted us so we ran. I slept by the roadside and finally gave birth here’. 


Critics choice 

- The Independent, Telegraph 

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The Jungle Midwife, Channel 4: Unreported World | Quicksilver Media