Time examines the issue of maternal mortality in Afghanistan, where the Health Ministry says "about 18,000 Afghan women die during childbirth every year" writing, "According to a recent report by the NGO Save the Children, Afghanistan ranked as the worst place to give birth, followed by Niger and Chad." The magazine cites getting women in rural areas to hospitals, a lack of midwives and a stigma against pregnancy "because it's a public acknowledgement of sex with their spouses" as challenges and highlights the HHS-funded Afghan Safe Birth Project, which has "has helped reduce deaths during [caesarean] sections at [Kabul's Rabia Balkhi Hospital] by 80 percent" since 2008. "[I]n April, the U.S. government cut the program's $5.8 million annual funding, and" Faizullah Kakar, an epidemiologist and special adviser on health to Afghan President Hamid Karzait "says the Afghan government doesn't have the money to keep it going," Time notes (Kakissis, 10/11).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.