Afghanistan Country Brief: Scaling up community midwifery education for maternal and newborn health

In Afghanistan, roughly 6,400 women die each year from pregnancy-related complications, with more than one-third of deaths resulting from severe bleeding during or shortly after delivery. An estimated 25% of maternal deaths could be prevented with appropriate care during labor and delivery provided by a skilled midwife. For women living in remote and rural areas in Afghanistan, there is a chronic and severe shortage of midwives. In 2003, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) recommended that skilled attendance at birth by midwives be scaled-up in order to be available to all women.

As a result of the recommendation, a Community Midwifery Education (CME) program was funded by USAID in 2004 to expand the number of skilled midwives in Afghanistan. Save the Children (SC), became a sub-recipient in the program and joined in collaboration with the Health Services Support Project (HSSP) to jointly manage the Community Midwifery Education (CME) training program in Jawzjan province from 2006-2012. During the eight year project, the Jawzjan program trained 138 Community Midwives, with 95% of the graduates returning to their remote communities to provide maternal and newborn care in their local health facilities. In 2011, with funding from AusAID, SC established a new CME school in Uruzgan province with the goal of training 50 midwives over a period of four years. The first cohort of 28 students from Uruzgan will graduate in July 2014.

Read the full brief to learn more about community midwifery education in Afghanistan.

Published 2016-11-03

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