Afghanistan: Fragile Progress

In a first analysis of its kind, the Lancet Global Health reports strides in maternal and child health in Afghanistan, a country long racked with political instability and violence.

Mining 11 nationally representative surveys conducted between 2003 and 2013, the authors found that:

  • Maternal mortality fell 64%.
  • Child mortality decreased 29%.
  • Childhood stunting dropped 30%.
  • Prenatal care and skilled delivery have increased by more than 1/3.
  • Staffing gains between 2005 and 2013 include: nurses (738 to 5,766), midwives (211 to 3,333), general physicians (403 to 5,990) and community health workers (2682 to 28,837).

The report also notes challenges: malnutrition is rampant; and pneumonia and diarrhea kills 28% and 20% of Afghan children under 5. Since Afghanistan is highly donor dependent, if funding plummets, so might its remarkable health gains.
Lancet Global Health

Thanks for the tip, Tanya Reid.

Related: 1,000 Afghans flee fighting every day – IRIN News

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