Mar 2018

Afghanistan has been recognized as a “high priority country” by the Global Nutrition Cluster (GNC) for tackling malnutrition. According to the 2013 National Nutrition Survey, approximately 41% of children in Afghanistan suffer from chronic malnutrition. Furthermore, malnutrition is not only a major problem for children but also for pregnant and lactating women. In light of this, and in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, AfD is developing a nutrition project in Afghanistan.

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The idea of a midwifery training came in response to the communities’ dire needs. Under the Taliban, female healthcare specialists were banned from their jobs, and males were forbidden from caring for women. This created a huge gap in women’s healthcare since there were only around 467 working midwives for a total population of around 20 million (World Bank). When the regime was overthrown in 2001, the Government of Afghanistan hurried to answer the population’s needs, and by 2012 Afghan midwifery forces were up to 3,500 (UNFPA 2014). However, the lack of time and resources did not allow for high-quality training for midwives. As a consequence, the course was limited to 18 months rather than the 4 years it lasts in developed countries.

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