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    Infant, mother mortality rate falls sharply

     KABUL (PAN): The current child and mother mortality rate in Afghanistan is five times lower than in the past 10 years, Presidential Hamid Karzai said on Friday.

    Of the 100,000 births, 1,600 mothers and newborns died in 2002, but the number fell to 327 in 2012 as a result of measures taken by government and health organisations, a statement from his office said.

    A decade back, there were 450 midwives across the country, but now their number has increased to 3,275 across. Another 850 were under training, the president said his bi-weekly speech.

    Karzai called for better health care services and an increased number of midwives in remote areas, saying right decisions by the Ministry of Public Health could reduce the number of deaths.

    Afghanistan has the highest infant and mother mortality rate in the world, mainly due to malnutrition, lack of care for pregnant women and self-medication.