Standing in the only operating room in the only medical hospital in all of Guinea-Bissau, Marco Vernaschi watched a nurse take an unsterile needle out of her pocket and, without anesthetic, suture a woman's vagina after a difficult childbirth. The woman screamed. Mr. Vernaschi took a photograph. Moments later, she was required to walk out of the filthy room and go home.
She was actually fortunate. So few women have any medical care in the west African country of Guinea-Bissau that the United Nations regards it as one of the world's most dangerous places to be pregnant.