Jennifer Williams, MSN, MPH, APRN-BC, is a nurse epidemiologist for the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA.
Observations From a Maternal and Infant Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan—2003
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
2005 American College of Nurse Midwives
Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health
Volume 50, Issue 4, pages e31–e35, July-August 2005
How to Cite
Williams, J. L. and McCarthy, B. (2005), Observations From a Maternal and Infant Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan—2003. Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health, 50: e31–e35. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2005.02.009
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
- maternal mortality;
- infant mortality;
- pregnant women;
- health services;
Afghanistan is believed to have one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world. As a result of decades of war and civil unrest, Afghan women and children suffer from poor access to health services, harsh living conditions, and insufficient food and micronutrient security. To address the disproportionately high infant and maternal mortality rates in Afghanistan, the US Department of Health and Human Services pledged support to establish a maternal health facility and training center. Rabia Balkhi Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, was selected because this hospital admits approximately 36,000 patients and delivers more than 14,000 babies annually. This article reports the initial observations at Rabia Balkhi Hospital and describes factors that influenced women's access, the quality of care, and the evaluation health care services. This observational investigation examined areas of obstetric, laboratory and pharmacy, and ancillary services. The investigators concluded that profound changes were needed in the hospital's health care delivery system to make the hospital a safe and effective health care facility for Afghan women and children and an appropriate facility in which to establish an Afghan provider training program for updating obstetric skills and knowledge.