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Maternal health top priority: MoPH

AT-KABUL: Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Wednesday said that maternal health is top priority based on the ministry’s strategic program.

Addressing a seminar in connection with the International Women’s Day, the minister for public health Ferozuddin Feroz said that despite progress made in the past decade, women are still facing serious challenges in health sector. “Therefore the ministry is committed to provide better healthcare services to women across the country,” he said.

He said the healthcare services would be upgraded in the country with special focus on maternal health. According to the “Disaster and Threat National Assessment” report, birth delivery with help of midwives increased from 24 to 40 percent since 2007-2012. Similarly, prenatal services increased from 10 to 54 percent since 2003-2013, the minister said while terming establishment of the midwifery schools in 32 provinces helpful. He said the schools graduated 3,000 midwives.

Regarding violence against women and girls, he said that according to the report 87 percent of women experienced at least one kind of violence in the country. “Around 69 percent of women faced different types of violence of which out of 17 percent experienced sexual abuse and 52 percent physical violence.”

Nearly, 59 percent of women complained of forced marriage and 74 percent are victim of mental torture, he said.

Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Afghanistan, Dr Annette Sachs Robertson, said the UNFPA stands committed to support the positive developments in Afghanistan. “This includes contribution to the improvement of quality healthcare services for women and introducing a wide range of actions to combat all forms of discrimination and violence against women,” Robertson said.

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