Promoting evidence-based decisions to improve maternal health
USAID, in collaboration with UNICEF and the Ministry of Public Health, conducted a one-day symposium on October 16, 2016 to share best approaches for reducing maternal mortality in Afghanistan. The symposium explored the prevention, detection, and management of Postpartum Hemorrhage (PPH) and Pre-eclampsia and Eclampsia (PEE) at medical facilities and at the community level. PPH and PEE are the main causes of maternal mortality in Afghanistan.
The symposium included presentations and panel discussions on comprehensive PPH and PEE interventions. Participants included policymakers and professional associations involved in efforts to reduce maternal mortality and improve compliance with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations at all levels of care.
Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz, Minister of Public Health, noted that while Afghanistan has made remarkable progress in reducing maternal mortality, all Afghan women still do not have access to the health services they need.
“We all have a role to play, and I am confident that together we can take full advantage of this opportunity to bridge the gap, accelerate the progress, and invest in a safe and bright future for the mothers and children of Afghanistan,” Dr. Feroz said.
“We know what to do to save lives,” said USAID/Afghanistan Health Office Director William Slater.
“Many of the evidence-based solutions to reduce maternal mortality in PPH and eclampsia are already well known, and the Ministry of Public Health in Afghanistan has ensured these approaches are included in strategies, guidelines, training materials, and educational programs for midwives,” Slater added.
About 82 participants from the Ministry of Public Health, U.N. agencies, the private sector, USAID, civil society organizations and NGOs, academic institutions, and professional associations attended the symposium. USAID supported the symposium through its five-year, $60 million HEMAYAT project, which is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health at the national level and in 23 provinces with high maternal, newborn, and child morbidity and low utilization of maternal and child health services. The project works to deliver high-impact health care to families in rural and difficult-to-reach areas of Afghanistan.
With almost $17 billion spent on development programs in Afghanistan since 2002, USAID provides the largest bilateral civilian assistance program to Afghanistan. USAID partners with the government and people of Afghanistan to ensure economic growth led by the country’s private sector, establish a democratic and capable state governed by the rule of law, and provide basic health and education services for all Afghans.
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