Mothers lack access to health services
Faroza, a resident of Gujran district in central Daikundi province, said traditional midwives helped pregnant women deliver babies due to the lack of health services.
She said people in Bolan area had to walk for about four hours to reach a health centre for treatment of their patients. When asked about the National Safe Mother Day, she replied: “Brother! I do not know this.”
Public Health Director Dr. Timor Shah Yousufi acknowledged insufficient health facilities in the Gujran district, saying doctors and midwives refused to perform duty in remote parts.
He said Gujran was 230 kilometers from Neli, the provincial capital, and there was only one midwife available in the district centre.
Ali Ahmad, a resident of Bakwa district in western Farah province, complained there was no health center and clinic in their district. He said residents had to cover a long distance reaching Farah City, the provincial capital.
He said the residents of Guzari Khord area took eight hours to reach a health centre in Farah City. He recalled when he was transferring his pregnant wife to the provincial capital last year for medical check-up, she lost the baby on the way to hospital.
Nafas Gul, a Sheghnan district resident in northeastern Badakhshan province, said women had no access to even basic health services. She said pregnant women were being handled by female relatives or in experienced midwives. She added there were only two health clinics operating in the district centre while most of people resided in remote areas.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Knishka Tukistani, said currently about 60 percent people in Afghanistan had access to basic health services. The remaining 40 percent lacked such facilities due to insecurity, poverty and impassable areas, he added.
Meanwhile, Public Health Minister Suraya Dalil said significant efforts had been made over the past decade to decrease maternal mortality rate. She said child delivery cases by trained midwives had increased by 34 percent from six percent 11 years ago.
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