Conflict contributes to severe maternal mortality
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Afghanistan is an ancient country with a turbulent history. Since 1979, Afghanistan has experienced a Soviet takeover, a civil war, the oppressive Taliban government and years of significant drought.
Historically, under strict Sharia law, male physicians have been prohibited from studying female anatomy and physiology, leaving the country without any skilled birth attendants for pregnant mothers. Not surprisingly, Afghanistan now has one the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.
Afghans face several other health challenges, including lack of clean water and sanitation services, an inconsistent health education system, rundown transportation services, and mountainous terrain. People seeking care often wait in overcrowded, understaffed facilities that prevent them from getting the treatment they need.
Afghans who do seek care often wait in overcrowded, under-supplied and understaffed facilities that prevent them from getting the care needed. There are only 19 physicians for every 100,000 people in Afghanistan and the life expectancy is just 46 years.
We launched an emergency medical program during the 2001 war in Afghanistan. More than 20 volunteer teams provided direct medical services, food aid and immunizations that year. Most recently, our volunteer teams have provided training and treatment for patients at the International hospital in Kabul and Tanghi Saidan Health Center.
From July, 2009 through June, 2012, our program has accomplished the following successes:
- The number of women receiving prenatal care increased by 30%.
- Number of assisted deliveries in the clinics increased by 38%.
- Each health facility now receives a quarterly supervision visit.
- Clinic encounters where all assessment tasks are completed improved from 45% to 85%.
- Clinic encounters where treatment is appropriate to diagnosis improved from 85% to 93%.
- Clinic encounters where the caregivers could correctly describe how to administer each prescription or ORS improved from 60% to 88%.
More information about the successes of our programs in Afghanistan is in the Primary Health Care Clinics in Afghanistan report.
Plans for 2012-2012
We will continue working with our in-country partners in support of the work at medical clinics which care for more than 1,300 patients per month. We will send medical teams to the Tanghi Saidan Community Center.
We are sending medical teams to Afghanistan in cooperation with CURE International. Teams will provide OB/GYN care, surgeries and family medicine training to local Afghan doctors.
Morning Star Development is a nonprofit community and economic development organization committed to helping the people of Afghanistan rebuild their country and their lives.
CURE International establishes and operates teaching hospitals in order to provide physical and spiritual healing for disabled children in the developing world.
Please donate or volunteer to help save lives in Afghanistan.