For many years, Afghanistan has grappled with one of the highest maternal mortality rates globally. Since 2001, the country faced a severe shortage of midwives, with only 1’000 practitioners available. In response, the new government opted to address this deficit by recruiting midwives from neighboring nations and reducing the mandatory midwifery training period from 3 years to 18 months. Although this measure aimed to augment the number of qualifies midwives, the abbreviated training duration left many feeling inadequately prepared to handle complex scenarios like breech deliveries or retained placenta.
By 2021, Afghanistan saw an increase in the number of midwives to about 3’000 yet maternal mortality remained alarmingly high at 638 deaths per 100’000 births. Although there is no official update on maternal mortality figures, recent research by Doctors Without Borders has shed light on the healthcare challenges. Midwives play a crucial role in remote areas, often being the sole qualified health professionals available. They also represent one of the limited opportunities for women to engage with individuals outside their homes. Given the restrictions on male doctors treating female patients, the necessity for competent, self-assured, and well-trained midwives is paramount in safeguarding the well-being of Afghan women and children.
Action for Development is partnering with One Day’s Wages, with the goal to help vulnerable women and children while simultaneously addressing the challenge of maternal mortality in rural Afghanistan. The focus is on enhancing the knowledge and confidence of midwives. AfD, specifically targeting midwives operating in the rural areas of Kabul, Takhar, and Parwan provinces, plans to conduct an intensive 12-day training program for 75 midwives. This program incorporates a blend of theoretical instruction and practical, hands-on experience.
Following the training, these 75 midwives will then disseminate the acquired knowledge to their peers working in rural health posts. This cascading effect is anticipated to empower a total of 225 midwives, equipping them with the enhanced capacity needed to effectively cater to the needs of both mothers and newborns. Through the collective efforts of One Day’s Wages and AfD, this initiative aims to contribute significantly to improving maternal and child health outcomes in these underserved regions of Afghanistan.
Your support is crucial in enabling us to offer essential training, ensuring that midwives are readily available to deliver over 90% of women and infant healthcare throughout Afghanistan. Urgently, we seek your assistance. Please consider donating to make a lasting impact. Your generosity can help us make a significant difference in the lives of countless women and children in need.
Donate here: https://onedayswages-afd.funraise.org/