Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Maternal mortality rates still dangerously high in Afghanistan

Some 1,600 Afghan women die in childbirth out of every 100,000 live births, giving Afghanistan one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, Reuters reported on April 30.

With few proper roads, even fewer cars, and no clinics for miles around, pregnant women in remote areas of Afghanistan are dying preventable deaths at an alarming rate. With a 1.6 percent national maternal mortality rate already an issue of concern, some rural areas in Afghanistan have rates as high as 6.5 percent.

Underfed and malnourished, these women are severely anemic, and would have complicated births in the best of circumstances. But the tradition of marrying young women apparently further complicates the situation. According to the article, when an expectant mother is as young as 13, immature pelvic bone development can lead to hypertension and obstructed labor, which will kill both mother and child if unattended to by trained medical personnel.

“One woman dies every 27 minutes in Afghanistan due to complications in childbirth…and the tragedy doesn’t stop with the mother’s death” said Karima Mayar, a family planning team leader at the Ministry of Public Health. “When the mother of a newborn dies, 75 percent of theses babies die.”

For the full article, click here.


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