PAN, August 15, 2013

Remote towns in Afghan province lack female doctors, midwives

Sick women in these areas continue to face medical crisis in the absence of women medical staff

By Saifullah Maftoon

Residents of remote areas in southern Ghazni province complain they have to take their sick women to the provincial capital for treatment due to the shortage of lady doctors in health clinics in their areas.

A Giro district resident, Kamal Shah, whose wife has been admitted at the civil hospital in Ghazni City, said there was no lady doctor in health centres in his home town. “My wife is sick and I brought her here because there is no lady doctor in our area,” he said.

Afghan public health ministry officials announced at least one Afghan woman dies in every two hours across the country due maternal deaths.
Suraya Dalil Afghan public health minister said majority of the mothers die during childbirth as a result of lack of proper healthcare.
Khaama Press, Jan. 4, 2013

An Andar district resident, Asadullah, said the health clinic in the district was operational, but it lacked lady doctors. He claimed many women had died due to the lack of lady doctors and midwives in his town.

No lady doctor has so far been appointed at health clinics in remote districts including Ajristan, Maqur, Qarah Bagh, Doab, Gilan and Nawa. Sick women in these areas continue to face medical crisis in the absence of women medical staff.

A midwife at the Ghazni Civil Hospital, Mursal, who belongs to the Andar district, said she could not perform duty in her home town due to insecurity. She urged the Taliban and other militant groups to avoid creating problems for women medical staff in remote parts.

Provincial Public Health Director Dr. Zia Gul Asfanda confirmed the shortage of female doctors in remote areas, saying midwives refused to perform duty in outreach areas due to security concerns, family restrictions and meager salaries.

She said 25 girls graduated last year from a midwifery course aimed at overcoming the shortage, but it did not resolve the problem. Her department planned to conduct more such courses under a new programme, she said.

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