Afghan Child - Photo Credit: Save the Children
The health care system in Afghanistan was largely destroyed by decades of conflict – particularly services for women and children. In partnership with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Save the Children works with families, communities and health care workers in homes, health posts, clinics and hospitals to promote basic health, well being and survival, particularly for children younger than five and for women of childbearing age.
Each year, four million babies die in the first 28 days of life – the neonatal period. Most of these deaths occur in developing countries. In response in Afghanistan, Save the Children partners with the MoPH, WHO, UNICEF and other health service delivery providers with a focus on improving the access of mothers and newborns to low-cost, low-tech interventions. Recently, we led a qualitative research study in partnership with the MoPH and UNICEF to learn about practices during pregnancy, delivery, postnatal period and for newborn care.* Based on these findings and in consultation with the MoPH Technical Advisory Group, Save the Children is developing a demonstration project focused on extending postnatal care to mothers and newborns at home through the existing Community Midwives and Community Health Workers.
In all health initiatives we encourage people – from school children to health officials – to take part in improving the health of Afghan children, mothers and families. In addition to government healthcare leaders and administrators, Save the Children supports doctors, nurses, community midwives and other clinicians. As importantly, we support community health workers, who staff home-based health posts in some of the poorest and most rural areas of northern Afghanistan.