mortality rate in Afghanistan
Photo: UNICEF Afghanistan/ Omid Fazel

UNHCR: Afghanistan has highest maternal mortality rate in Asia

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has said that Afghanistan has the highest mortality rate in Asia, adding that it was providing trainings for unskilled midwives in remote areas of the country to provide safe deliveries for women.

The United Nations Population Fund in Afghanistan (UNFPA) said in May 2022 that the mortality rate had dropped from 1,450 cases per 100,000 births to 638 cases over the past 20 years.

“However, if action is not taken now to prevent the situation from deteriorating further, it is predicted that the maternal mortality rate will rise by over 50% to 963 deaths per 100,000 births by 2025,” the UN fund warned.

With Afghanistan fell once again into the Taliban hands in August 2021, the country’s health system faced almost a collapse as many medical practitioners, particularly medical doctors and nurses, fled the country.

Moreover, in December 2022, the Taliban officially banned female students in all fields of study from pursuing higher education in all universities across Afghanistan. The ban is still effectively in its place and exacerbate the challenges for lack of medical practitioners, particularly in maternal health services, for the country in future.

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