Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Mothers are Still Vulnerable in Afghanistan

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Mothers are Still  Vulnerable in Afghanistan

To begin, I shall honor every mother of this country Afghanistan and all the mothers in the world at large. We are supposed not to overlook the importance of mother, the "Master of all of us" the ones who have devoted their each moment to make sure that we feel relax and secure. Mothers are indeed the true gift of God. And we must respect their sacrifices for our victory in this competitive world.
Mothers nurture the future by offering their children the very fundamental security that no military could ever do. The one and the only gift that nothing can be compared to, the world's most precious gift is not more than giving a birth, the force we fight with, the strength we live with, the power we think by and the wisdom we speak through.

Yet we see in some parts of the universe that mothers are still very unfortunate, where motherhood is in more danger than any of today's dominated crisis, even to be a mother is a sin. Let's not go so far just consider Afghanistan, where women have 1 in 8 lifetime risk of dying from pregnancy-or childbirth-related causes due to lack of access to a health care center, particularly in the tribal areas and most sadly due to poverty that doesn't allow them to meet their special and related doctors that they need.

Persistently, the Afghan mothers are not only facing the above mentioned problems, but also they are the victims of domestic violence, discriminations and rape related crimes. A 6 years old girl who has been raped in Nangarhar province just recently who has no one else except her old blind father and poor helpless mother with full pain was crying and saying, "I feel so disparate and unfortunate for I have been born in this world, where the poor are depressed and their rights are snatched so wildly and justice is denied when it comes to poor class people, especially the women and children like us."

She further continued that her father is an old blind man who has asked the government for justice many times but the law has never paid attention to his vulnerability and never enforced the law on those cruel criminals and warlords instead they are encouraged because they have power and money, what do they have to pay the government to process their case. There are many families who are the victims of such violence and discrimination around Afghanistan where neither the government nor the international NGO's have access to bring the realities on Media in front of the world.

Surprisingly, Afghan mothers further suffer given from the dismal odds their children face. One quarter of babies never reach their fifth birthday. In any given week, approximately 6,000 Afghan children may die, mostly from easily preventable and treatable causes like pneumonia, diarrhea, cool fever and birth complications. These children are not only the victims of the above related complications, but rather the victims of the daily deaths from the armed conflicts, like air strikes by NATO forces and insurgence fighter's attacks, roadside bombings, kidnappings, assassinations, poverty and many other related causes which will take pages to be discussed.

On one hand the civilian fatalities are getting accelerated and on the other hand, they have no proper access to the health care protection centers where the women and children's lives can be saved from the related preventable causes.

However, such figures may be more related than you would think. The U.S. Director of National Intelligence has asserted that the Afghan government's inability to provide basic health services for children and expectant mothers have undermined its credibility and boosted support for the Taliban. Because extremists often prey on the discontent of marginalized communities, countries with higher child and maternal mortality rates may be more vulnerable to political upheaval.

That's a point Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made, but it's not the only compelling reason to address child and maternal deaths.
As a result, the innocent children who have nothing to do with this crisis, and pregnant women are just dying needlessly of very easy curable birth related complications. We all know and even the whole humanity, those who are adapting, implementing and claming the role of human rights know it's wrong to let these deaths continue when we know how to prevent them.

Obviously, such constant deaths can be prevented; the tools to eliminate most child and maternal deaths are well-known, proven and often very low-cost. If we put them to work, we could prevent an estimated two thirds of 8.8 million annual child deaths and three quarters of 343,000 maternal deaths in the region.

Some of the poor countries have already made phenomenal progress. Thanks to a combination of foreign aid, national will and sustainable strategies for getting basic health care protections for poor mothers and their children, including Afghanistan. Fighting the injustice and birth-related deaths today in Afghanistan means fighting the Taliban, who are committed to tens and thousands of innocent deaths and brutality against women, children and local civilians.

Likewise, when the Taliban Attack on U.S and NATO forces, it is extremely painful and dismal moment for their parents and for the world at large, even the whole country starts screaming about their casualties, but when it comes to poor and helpless mothers in Afghanistan who are screaming for help and justice for almost decades, nobody even hears their painful screaming of help asking for mercy. Children are breathing their last breath, but here is no one who must protect their lives.

The most effective solutions are not high tech. Exclusive breastfeeding, micronutrients, antibiotics, antimalarials, vaccines, oral-rehydration therapy, and utilizing ready-to-use foods which could save millions of children a year. Skilled attendance at birth and basic prenatal and postnatal care could prevent most maternal deaths.

In this regard, Save the Children's new State of the World's Mothers report points out that those countries suffering the most child and maternal deaths also have the greatest health care provider shortages. Yet, the report also illustrates that we need not confront the extreme challenges of producing huge numbers of doctors to meet the estimated global shortfall of 4.3 million health care professionals. Community health workers with just months of training can deliver key interventions that save the children's lives, and trained midwives can make childbirth far safer.

Typically, the very poor countries like Bangladesh and Nepal have become leaders in reducing child deaths in great part by drawing on the targeted aid to build ranks of female frontline health care workers through world's most famous NGO's, particularly the ActionAid International who is working on this field from 1994 including many other NGO's, not so far but inside the country who very likely have the objective in working to empower the women.

These women not only have the low-cost tools to save lives, but they also are welcomed by communities where cultural barriers keep women from accessing male health care providers, but in Afghanistan yet, the opportunity for such process couldn't register a hopeful condition, despite the unlimited efforts of the international communities and NGO's.

Never the less, even the world's most dangerous place to be a mother is Afghanistan can be found in every website which is an indication of asking for help to empower the women in order to reduce the mortality rate of birth. Due to lack of awareness most of the communities in the provinces still ignore to accept the support of the international community and NGO's through limited initiatives to train midwives. Such programs deserve support because the payoff is a more stable, secure, and humane world for all of us by making the communities aware of the health care protection.

Above all, All Americans and the international community including many NGO's working on the ground can keep the ball rolling by supporting to maintain their funding to save our mothers and children's lives in the country. By coordinating new efforts to fund and promote maternal, newborn and child health, Congress, President Obama and world leaders can help save the lives of millions of moms and kids in Afghanistan.

Abdul Samad Haidari is the permanent writer of the Daily outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafg hanistan@gmail.com

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