Dr. Nasrin receives International Woman of Courage Award for promoting women’s health in Afghanistan
On March 4, 2014, Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom presented Dr. Nasrin Oryakhil with the Secretary of State’s International Woman of Courage Award in Washington, D.C. at a ceremony attended by First Lady Michelle Obama. Dr. Nasrin was one of ten women from different countries around the world honored with the award, which annually recognizes women who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women’s rights and empowerment, often at great personal risk. Dr. Nasrin was selected “for her tireless efforts to promote women’s health and provide maternal health services in Afghanistan.”
A prominent leader in the field of maternal health, Dr. Nasrin Oryakhil has been the Director of the Malalai Maternity Hospital in Kabul since 2004. Over 90% of the staff at Malalai Maternity Hospital are women and provide services to women from all over Afghanistan. In addition to providing emergency obstetric care to women as a practicing obstetrician/gynecologist, Dr. Nasrin founded the first center for obstetric fistula repair in Afghanistan, located at Malalai Maternity Hospital. Dr. Nasrin works tirelessly to strengthen the role of women in medical professions in Afghanistan. She has increased the recognition of the essential role of midwives and supported the establishment of the Afghan Midwives Association. Dr. Nasrin is the president of the Afghan Family Health Association, which implements innovative reproductive health programs, provides a hotline for youth and shelters for women, and conducts outreach sessions in high schools to raise awareness about reproductive health. She is also an active member of the Afghan Women’s Network.
Dr. Nasrin’s dedication, passion and tireless efforts have significantly contributed to the progress made in the field of maternal health in Afghanistan and increased access to quality care for women from all over Afghanistan. Since the fall of the Taliban, maternal mortality rates have dramatically decreased.
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