Afghanistan: Taliban’s return imperils maternal health


Nurses feed newborns rescued after their moms have been killed in a mass capturing at a Kabul maternity ward in 2020.Credit: Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty

Afghanistan has one of many highest maternal demise charges on the earth, regardless of beneficial properties in ladies’s health over the previous 20 years (see go.nature.com/39burgc). Experience means that the Taliban’s takeover of the nation will additional imperil moms’ health and well-being.

During the earlier reign of the Taliban (1996–2001), the maternal and neonatal demise charges worsened as a consequence of the complicated synergy of social, demographic, medical, financial and cultural elements (S. A. M. Najafizada et al. Cent. Asian J. Glob. Health 6, 240; 2017). Restrictions to ladies’s lives included permitting solely feminine health employees to look at them, restricted entry to high quality health companies — significantly obstetric care — and minimal alternatives for training and work. These elevated the danger of giving start at dwelling with no prenatal or natal care (C. Palmer Lancet 352, 734; 1998).

The United Nations 2030 objectives for sustainable growth embrace discount of worldwide maternal mortality to lower than 70 deaths per 100,000 dwell births. Afghanistan’s newest determine of 638 per 100,000 is now extra more likely to develop than to shrink. In our view, rectifying this ought to be a global precedence.

Competing Interests

The authors declare no competing pursuits.



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