Safe Motherhood in Afghan Refugee Camps

safe-mother-afghanistanNo one knows how many mothers and babies die in the refugee camps around Kabul. There are no records kept of births or deaths. Thousands of families live in these camps, some for a short period of time and others for years. They live in narrow unheated tents, through freezing winters and boiling summers. There is very little water, very little food and very little fuel for cooking or keeping warm. Many children are barefoot. There is no money for medication and absolutely no care for pregnant women and no help during labour and delivery. Afghanistan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world – and one can only guess that the rates in the camps are higher still.

There is only one local NGO, Tabish, that works in these camps. They provide a team of social workers who visit regularly and assist with the many psycho-social problems that arise. Thanks to a grant from the Hillman Fund and another from Rose Charities UK, this team now includes 2 trained mid-wives. This program is very new, so we are waiting for a detailed report from them, but we hear from Tabish that midwives are doing well, are very busy and very popular! The danger is that they will be overwhelmed by the needs of the community. They plan to provide neo-natal classes that will cover topics such as nutrition, hygiene, breast-feeding, as well as good and bad traditional practices. We have provided funds for basic birthing kits for expectant mothers.

This service is desperately needed. We are looking for funding to supply the midwives with better equipment and teaching materials. Any donation will make a huge difference. If you would like to donate to this project, please click on the link below and select “Hillman Fund” from the fund-dropdown at the top. Please write “Afghanistan Safe Motherhood” in the further comments section. Thank-you for your support!

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