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MoPH reports five percent decline in maternal mortality

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Monday said that due to accessibility of women to the healthcare services, maternal mortality rate has been decreased five percent in Afghanistan.

Speaking at the International Day of the Midwife, Deputy Minister of Public Health said that increase in number of the midwives helped to reduce the maternal mortality rate.

Najia Tariq said that currently 4,600 midwives are working in the country. The midwives provide prenatal and after birth healthcare services to women in different parts of the country, she added.

“Maternal mortality in Afghanistan has been decreased up to five percent in the past 15 years, but still we have long way to overcome this problem. Still, one in every 50 women in the country dies from a pregnancy-related cause during her life time,” she said.

She pointed out that family planning had significant role in persuading women to observe gap between births.

“Insecurities, low level awareness of women about healthcare service during pregnancy, lack of professional health workers in the remote districts, shortage of transportation facilities and inappropriate traditions are the major challenges,” she said.

She added that despite the problem, the ministry is committed to provide the necessary healthcare services for improvement of mothers and children’s health in remote districts.

The UNFPA representative in Afghanistan, Annette Sachs Robertson, on the occasion said that to strengthen the midwifery profession further, standards of midwifery practice must be regulated and upheld. He said that recruitment and retention policies should be enhanced. “Most importantly there is a need for additional community midwives in the most inaccessible areas,” he said.

According to the World Health Organization, every year 287,000 women and over three million infants lose their lives in the world as result of preventable pregnancy-related problems.

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