Laos Decreases Maternal Mortality With Midwife Training Program, But Funding Under Threat From U.S., European Aid Cuts

South China Morning Post: Midwife crisis: Laos slashes maternal mortality but Trump defunding threatens the progress made
“…Small health centers have been estab­lished across rural areas and — with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) — 1,700 midwives have been trained to staff them. In 2015, Laos became one of only nine countries world­wide to meet the U.N.’s goal of decreasing maternal mortality from the 1990 level by 75 percent. … Despite such progress, Laos still has the highest maternal mortality rate in Southeast Asia, and UNFPA plans to expand the midwife program to the remotest regions of the mountainous nation. Issues with funding from developed countries, however, may put brakes on the agency’s work: countries in Europe are blaming the costly refugee crisis there; in the United States, the world’s largest contributor of health care aid, the issue is abortion…” (Liljas, 9/8).

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