Los Angeles - Angelina Jolie experienced Africa's healthcare first hand when she gave birth there in 2006.
The By the Sea star welcomed her now 10-year-old daughter Shiloh in Swakopmund, Namibia and was shocked that the hospital didn't even have an ultrasound machine.
She said: "I went to a hospital in Namibia, where I was having my daughter, and I was in breech. I needed a C-section, and I knew I was in breech because I had had the money to have an ultrasound. But I found even the local hospital with many, many women - and this was a good hospital - did not have an ultrasound machine.
"So the amount of women that didn't know they were in breech, the amount of babies and complications when they got into labour, with one simple machine. But I know there are many extraordinary people who are working on this and women's health around the world, and many groups dedicated solely to that, and their work is so needed and these solutions can come."
And the 41-year-old actress - who also has Maddox, 14, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, and seven-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox with her husband Brad Pitt - underwent a double mastectomy in 2013 and hopes it will encourage other women to get checked out more regularly.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Women's Hour, she said: "When you go through something and you learn about yourself and your body in anything medical, you feel - it really wasn't a decision. It was just, I thought that I had gained information that I wish my mother would have known. I wish she had the option. I wish she had the surgery, in fact, and it might have given her more years with my family.
"It means a great deal to me. If there is even one woman out there who went and got checked and found that she had cancer or she was positive and she caught something in time, and if in any small way I was a part of that, it makes me very emotional."
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