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70pc of women have to deliver at home.

KABUL CITY (PAN): Though the government has ensured healthcare facilities for more than 54 percent of pregnant women across the country, only 34 percent could benefit from them due to strict cultural restrictions, officials said on Sunday.

A ceremony marking "National Day of Safe Motherhood" was held in Kabul, where a message from Public Health Minister Dr. Suraya Dalil was read out. She said expecting mothers be taken to maternity homes because the high mortality rate was due to home deliveries.

Another health official, Dr. Sadia Fayeq Ayubi, told Pajhwok Afghan News more than 54 percent of women across the country had access to reproductive health services. But over 70 percent of them were not referred to hospitals during pregnancy and childbirth for cultural reasons.

She said since some families did not allow pregnant women to visit a health centre, the Ministry of Public Health planned to launch public awareness programmes and increase the number of female health workers.

The ministry also wanted to increase reproductive health services for women from the current 54 percent to 70pc over the next three years, she revealed.

According to Dr. Nasrin, the director of a health institute in southern Kandahar province, there is no female doctor in 17 districts of the province. As a result, people have to transfer women to the provincial hospital due to lack of health centres in their own districts.

Rukhshana, a resident of the Zherai district, said she had never been referred to a health centre during pregnancy.

Nuristan provincial council head, Amanullah Inayat, said there was no healthcare centre for women in Mandol Doab, Wartiz and Waigal districts of the eastern province.

mm/ma/mud

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Publication:Pajhwok Afghan News (Kabul, Afghanistan)
Date:Jun 10, 2012
Words:293
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