Will Taliban Takeover Destroy Public Health Gains?

The Taliban’s victory in Kabul could mean a devastating reversal of progress against maternal and child mortality in Afghanistan.
Estimates show that from 2003 to 2015, child mortality fell 29% in Afghanistan; another estimate found that deaths in childbirth were nearly halved from 2005 to 2017.
The US-led occupation was one of many drivers of this progress.
A big open question is whether such public health gains can now be maintained, says Johns Hopkins professor Gilbert Burnham, who researches Afghanistan’s health systems.
“Things can go bad if restriction of women, both as a health focus and in the workforce, occurs and ideology starts getting in the way of health programming.”

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