Hanna Ingber Win is Huffington Post's World Editor. She was recently invited by the UN Population Fund to visit its maternal health programs in Ethiopia, which has one of the world's worst health care systems. In the U.S., a woman has a 1 in 4,800 chance of dying from complications due to pregnancy or childbirth in her lifetime. In Ethiopia, a woman has a 1 in 27 chance of dying.
MEKELLE, Ethiopia -- Dima Yehea's two-year-old son has large brown eyes and a sweet, carefree smile. He sits on his mother's lap wearing only an old T-shirt. Dima, dressed in a loose hospital gown, looks at me with intent, studious eyes. Her baby turns towards her, grabs her left breast with both hands and nurses for a few minutes. As the baby focuses on his meal, Dima concentrates on me, a Westerner in Ethiopia.
Dima also wears a big smile on her face. Her hair has recently been styled, pulled back in tight braids, in preparation for her departure from the hospital and trip home to her rural village.
A young woman living in a country with one of the world's worst health care systems, Dima has experienced needless, preventable pain and tragedy. Yet she appears happy to share her story. To an American, it is a story of the poor state of women's health care in Ethiopia. To Dima, it is a story of triumph and hope.