Three Afghan women have been recognized among the nominees for the 100 outstanding women nurses, midwives and leaders by the Women in Global Health for their pivotal role in providing health services in difficult times.
Zahra Mirzaei is a midwife and educator, "playing an important role in her community and province, and even on the national stage through advocacy and acceptance of community midwifery education (CME)," said Women in Global Health.
"Marufa is an accomplished nurse in Afghanistan who has had to work in difficult and challenging environments. She is passionate about quality improvement and family health education within the nursing field," said the organization.
"Shukria is a midwife and teacher at the French Medical Institute for Children and Mothers in Kabul, Afghanistan. There she aids in the safe delivery of newborns, improving the odds of survival for many of her patients," said the award press release.
Shukria Musafirzada said that she has worked as a midwife for seven years. She has a daughter and a son.
“Midwives need to be skilled in their profession. They need to have experience to save mother and child,” Shukria said.
Parwin Husaini, a patient, said she gave birth to her third child at a hospital in Kabul with the help of Shukria.
“Midwives should be experienced to save mother and child,” Husaini said.
Data by the Ministry of Public Health shows that there is one midwife in each health center and there are 4,000 midwives in government hospitals.
“The idea is to promote midwifery studies from two years to four years so that we can use their experience in our hospitals,” said Masooma Jafari, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Health.
Afghanistan is one of the deadliest countries for mothers. Figures show that 1,291 mothers out of 100,000 die during birth.