The Ministry of Public Health said it intends to increase the number of female professionals in health institutions to prevent maternal mortality.
Mohammad Ishaq Sahebzada, deputy minister of finance and administration of the Ministry of Public Health, while speaking at gathering in Kabul marking International Midwifery Day, called on international aid agencies to continue their assistance to the health sector of Afghanistan.
According to Sahebzada, more than 38,000 midwives are working at health institutions in the country.
The deputy stressed the importance of providing more employment opportunities for women in the health sector.
“We promise the people and the international institutions that in the future we will increase midwives in the health sector to a level that is in line with international standards,” Sahebzada said.
“We promise that the rights of midwives are protected and we must pay serious attention to their higher education and their privileges,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.
The maternal mortality rate in the country is very high.
Hela Gharshin, the director general of midwives at the Ministry of Public Health, said that due to the lack of higher education in the field of midwifery in the country, some midwives do not want to work in the field.
“Our midwives in remote areas are working up to three days at a time because there is a shortage of midwives; Midwives are also subject to risk and their education is two years; Higher education in the field of midwifery is very rare,” she said.
Meanwhile, Saeed bin Mubarak Al Khayarin, Qatar's ambassador to Kabul, announced further assistance from his country to various sectors in Afghanistan, especially the health sector.
“The government of the state of Qatar attaches great importance to Afghanistan in aspects of top security, stability, development and improvement of the humanitarian situation and will provide humanitarian support to the Afghan people,” he said.
“Since 2014, the Qatar Red Crescent Foundation has implemented more than 40 projects in Afghanistan in various sectors such as emergency health services and educational projects,” said Ahmad al-Osmani, head of the Qatar Red Crescent in Afghanistan.
Based on available numbers, 6,000 midwives are working within the Ministry of Public Health, and the shortage of professional midwives in remote areas of the country is considered a major challenge.