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Midwife training programme aims to reduce maternal mortality in Afghanistan

January 13, 2009 | UNICEF new window

PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan, 13 January 2009 - Dr. Forough Malalai is the only female maternal health doctor in Panjshir province, a mountainous region in central Afghanistan. With vast valleys and harsh winters, many of Panjshir's 600,000 residents live in villages that are inaccessible by road and often blocked by floods and avalanches.

"Some women have to walk for hours, even days, to reach the clinic," says Dr. Malalai. "It is quite difficult to transport emergency cases to the clinic."

At present, Dr. Malalai can provide her patients with basic services at the clinic, but she hopes that one day the clinic can be replaced by a hospital. For now, she must manage to use the limited resources to provide the region's women with good obstetrical care.

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