Afghanistan: 38% reduction in Child Mortality, 40% reduction in Maternal Mortality achieved during 2002-2008

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38% reduction in Child Mortality, 40% reduction in Maternal Mortality achieved during 2002-2008 due to participatory work of MoPH, health sector stakeholders- especially provincial leadership

Dr. SMA Fatimie, the Minister of Public Health of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan cheerfully accepted the appreciation letters dedicated by Her Excellency Dr Habiba Saraabi, the governor of Bamyan province and the provincial leadership of that province due mainly to the well admired activities and quality services presented by the ministry public health to the people of Bamyan.

At the ceremony, the Afghan Minister of Public Health said: The reduction of 38% in child mortality and 40% in maternal mortality has been a unique record ever documented in Afghanistan. Based on statistics resulted from third party independent studies, the lives of approximately half a million children have been saved from 2003 up to now. During the recent years the Ministry of Public Health has accelerated its efforts in health services delivery, especially for mothers and children in Afghanistan. The international society and the World Health Organization (WHO), in particular, have confirmed and pledged to further support the evolving of Afghanistan health sector. Dr Fatimie the Minister of Public Health also added: These surprising achievements have been obtained due to the participatory activities of the MoPH and health sector stakeholders including the provincial partners, especially governor's office, provincial council, provincial parliament members, Director of provincial public health department, health workers and importantly the participation of local residents. Bamyan province is a typical model of such contribution and coordination. I myself personally appreciate the contributions of her Excellency Dr Habiba Saraabi, the Senate members, the provincial Director of public health department and other colleagues. This successful cooperation in Bamyan province is a vivid example for establishment of a social pact at provincial level.

Dr. Fatimie also said that based on WHO recommendation developing countries should invest $28 per person annually while MoPH had achieved these results by investing only $6.5 per person annually. He suggested that annually at least $14 per person should be invested in Afghanistan. He appealed to the International Community to increase their investment in the per capita financing in health sector of Afghanistan so that MoPH further reduces disability, morbidity and mortality in Afghanistan and also increases the coverage of health services and brings about better achievements.

Findings of NRVA released by Dr. Fatimie in Kabul while His Excellency Gordon Brown, British Premier mentioned about health sector achievements in Afghanistan, especially reduction in maternal and child mortality as an example of international investment in Afghanistan during a hearing at the British Lower House.

Based on findings of an NRVA survey in Afghanistan carried out by the Central Statistics Department last year, Dr Fatimie announced a 38% reduction in child mortality rate. This study was supported financially and technically by the World Bank and the European Union.

According to the survey done in 2002 by MoPH, UNICEF and the Atlanta Disease Control Center (USA), 257 children per 1000 live births died prior to celebrating their fifth birthday and similarly 1600 mothers per 100000 live births lost their lives. In 2007 based on the survey carried out by Johns Hopkins University, a 26% reduction was achieved in child mortality between 2003 and 2007. In a survey which was conducted by NRVA study in 2008, another 13% reduction was achieved in child mortality.

Dr. Fatimie said that this national achievement has been obtained due to the special support from the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the active contribution of Afghan citizens and provincial leadership, the generous assistance of the international community, good governance in the MoPH leadership and its working team as well as support of the media in spreading up messages and raising the awareness level of the Afghans.

On be have of the Afghans, Dr Fatimie appreciated the supports received from the USAID, the World Bank, the European Commission, UNICEF, WHO, Rotary International, Saudi Arabia, Organization of Islamic Conference countries, UAE, Turkey, India, Japan, the people of China, conference of the Islamic countries, and other contributors who helped Afghanistan health sector.