The neonatal mortality rate has dropped by 50 percent in the past ten years, said the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Director of UNICEF, Shula Ismail, said that the infant mortality rate in the first 28 days of this year has fallen by 32 percent in Afghanistan against the same period last year.
He said that UNICEF is trying to improve health care services for children.
“UNICEF will continue to support the provision of emergency obstetrics and new born care services in health facilities,” he added.
The Minister of Public Health, Ferozuddin Feroz, said that 22 infant-protection units have been established in hospitals in 17 provinces.
“Primary health care services are improving. Access to health care services has also improved. However, there are still problems in the provision of hospital services,” he said.
He said that the National Unity Government (NUG) is committed to establishing infants’ protection centers in hospitals in the capital and other provinces.
He added that 22 protection units have been established at a total cost of $2 million USD.
Although the infant mortality rate has dropped by 50 percent, Afghanistan still has one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the world.
“Premature delivery, birth defects and infections forms 70 percent of the reasons for infant mortality,” said Zelaikha Anwari, a caretaker at a maternal hospital.