Decades of conflict and instability have disrupted Afghanistan’s access to primary health care. This is a critical issue that affects rural Afghan families, in particular. The treacherous journey from a home to a clinic is often not worth the risk for expecting mothers. Every time they step outside the possibility of violence exists, whether it is getting caught in crossfire or accidently stepping on a land mine. The terrain is dangerous, and the vulnerability of a woman in unknown territory is not culturally acceptable. Sociocultural factors often don’t allow women to leave their home without the escort of a male relative.
This group of women walked two hours one way to bring their sick babies to a rural clinic, braving the possibility of violence, gunfire, and abduction.
Because of the immense traveling danger, it comes as no surprise that nine out of 10 women give birth without a skilled attendant in their home. An immediate way to improve the infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate in rural Afghanistan is to train and equip midwives to travel where needed.
There are many local and international partners collaborating to strengthen midwifery education. Saving Moses’ role in reducing the infant mortality rate in rural Afghanistan is providing the salaries that will enable midwives to reach the mothers and babies that need their expertise the most.
In the first six months of 2016, over 200 babies were safely born because of the efforts of Saving Moses and the midwives. These babies are the new hope for Afghanistan.