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    UNFPA pledges $6.1m for maternal health services

    KABUL (PAN): The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) would provide the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) $6.1 million (300 afghanis) in assistance to improve maternal health services in Afghanistan.

    An agreement to the effect was signed between acting health public minister Dr. Soraya Dalil and UNFPA country director for Afghanistan, Laurent Zessler, in Kabul.

    Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News after signing the pact, Dalil said the amount would be used on capacity-building and training midwives and nurses, besides implementing family planning programme, setting up mobile health teams and constructing health houses for families.

    The projects would be carried out in central Bamyan, Daikundi, Faryab and Badakhshan provinces, where residents faced several problems due a lack of healthcare centres, she said.

    Residents in these provinces would convinced into adopting family planning, because the main cause behind high mortality rate was the lack of family planning, she said, adding currently only 20 percent of Afghans were familiar with the planning.

    The schemes would be implemented with support from non-governmental organizations, the activities of whom would be monitored by her ministry, Dalil said.

    A survey conducted by the health ministry shows 327 women among 100,000 die each year during childbirth.

    The assistance was aimed at reducing mortality rate among women in Afghanistan, the UNFPA country director Laurent Zessler, said.

    The UNFPA annually spent more than $10 million on the improvement of Afghanistan’s public health sector, he added.

    frm/ma