The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Monday expressed alarm over the infant mortality rate across Afghanistan, citing estimates that nearly 13,700 newborn babies and 26 mothers have died since the beginning of 2022 in the country.
Jawid Hazher, spokesman of the Ministry of Public Health, said that economic-related causes like poverty and poor diet are among the reasons for which children and mothers die during childbirth.
“We had around 124,800 premature childbirths so far since the beginning of 2022, normally 10 percent of these children die, so (as an estimate) 13,700 of these children died,” said Jawid Hazher.
Doctors and health staff believe that the lack of access to hospitals and standard health facilities, as well as poverty, is causing infant mortality to rise across the country.
“We need to get the required equipment and health staff. Midwives and doctors should be available in districts and a modern hospital in each province,” said Malalai Rahimi, the head of Malalai Maternity Hospital.
Meanwhile, a symposium on capacity building for maternity staff was held in Kabul on Tuesday. The symposium discussed training health staff to care for mothers and children during pregnancy.
“Afghanistan has the highest rate of mothers dying during childbirth, which is really regrettable, so you (midwives and doctors) must work very hard to decrease the number. We must not think about the capital only, we must think about every region across Afghanistan,” said Najmulsama Shefajo.