Saving Mother’s Lives in Afghanistan

January 7, 2011

I just spent time in Bamiyan and Kabul visiting with midwives and maternal health leaders. One in eleven women in Afghanistan die in childbirth which makes the country among the deadliest in the world to be an expectant mother. Given these grim statistics, reducing maternal mortality has become a national priority — one the US government is funding through the Agency for International Development. Community midwives now work in nearly every province of the country. Spending time with these health professionals is an inspiring reminder of the power of individuals to learn and take action for the benefit of their community. While the midwives initially faced real resistance from local elders, they now receive a great deal of respect from elders who see the very tangible benefits of their work to keep women and their families healthy. Here, a Daily Beast profile I wrote from Afghanistan of a young woman who is dedicating her career to saving women’s lives: “Afghanistan’s Appalling Pregnancy Deaths”