Press Release

UN Population Fund Delivers Lifesaving Equipment to Kabul Maternity Hospitals

31 May 2002
Author: UNFPA

KABUL-- Essential medical equipment and supplies, valued at over $200,000, were delivered to two of Kabul's two principal maternity care facilities this week. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) provided the lifesaving equipment to the Malalai Maternity Hospital, and the Rabia Balkhi Women's Hospital in response to an urgent request from Afghanistan's Minister of Public Health, Dr. Sohaila Siddiq.

The supplies and equipment ranged from basic items such as surgical gloves and gowns to sophisticated ultrasound scanners, needed to replace older machines which had been out of service for some time.

Ambulances for each of the facilities were provided earlier, and are now in daily use transporting patients to the hospitals, and delivering major cases to other referral facilities when needed.

The material was procured and shipped to Afghanistan under a major emergency assistance project funded with contributions from the Governments of Luxembourg, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway.

The Population Fund is participating in Afghanistan's reconstruction as part of the integrated UN assistance mission. Priorities identified together with the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Women's Affairs are strengthening maternal health services and girls' education, with an initial focus on rebuilding health and education infrastructure.

-- -- --

UNFPA is the world's largest multilateral provider of population assistance to developing countries. A primary aim of its support to Afghanistan and Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries is to increase women's access to reproductive health care and reduce the alarmingly high rate of maternal mortality, 1,700 deaths per 100,000 births.

Contact Information:

William A. Ryan
Tel.: +66 2 288 2446
Email: ryanw@unfpa.org

Afghanistan
Population : 38.9 mil
Fertility rate
4.2
Maternal Mortality Ratio
638
Contraceptives prevalence rate
18
Population aged 10-24
35.3%
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 63%
Girls 37%

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