Bamyan maternity waiting home: A safe place to give birth in Afghanistan

“This place is needed in Bamyan like water in the desert,” said Dr. Hamed Nazim, head of Bamyan Provincial Hospital. “In the past, not enough care was taken of mothers. This will change now.”

Together with UNICEF, representatives of the provincial government, religious leaders and local women, Dr. Nazim last week inaugurated the Bamyan Maternity Waiting Home, which aims to provide a safe place for women during the final stage of pregnancy. It is part of Afghanistan’s Maternity Waiting Home project, launched in 2007 in six provinces to bridge the gap between rural areas with poor access to skilled care and urban areas where maternal health services are available.

In his remarks at the opening of the Maternity Waiting Home, UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan Peter Crowley pointed out that every 30 minutes an Afghan woman dies from pregnancy of childbirth-related causes – giving Afghanistan one of world’s highest rates of maternal death.

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