World

Haiti struggling to keep up with newborns

Gina Pierre laid on her back in the dusty tent, crying out in pain and clenching her older sister's hand.

She was about to give birth to triplets.

Two days earlier, the concrete walls of Pierre's home had collapsed around her. Now, there was no place to deliver her babies -- only the tent made from scrap metal and bed linens where she and her family were sleeping.

"Please, God," she prayed. "Let my babies live."

Pierre is among the hundreds of Haitian women who have gone into labor following the Jan. 12 earthquake.

Many, like Pierre, are giving birth in the tent cities that have come to dominate the Port-au-Prince landscape. The women have almost no privacy, and doctors and midwives are scarce. Garbage and human waste are everywhere.

Other pregnant women are crowding the hospitals and medical clinics that were established by the international aid community. It's putting a strain on the relief organizations, many of which did not bring obstetricians or the proper equipment for delivering babies.

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