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Life Expectancy Rising In Afghanistan With Infant, Maternal Mortality Declining, Survey Shows

“Afghans are living longer, fewer infants are dying and more women are surviving childbirth because health care has dramatically improved around the country in the past decade, according to a national survey released Wednesday,” the Associated Press/Guardian reports. The survey, conducted by the Afghan Health Ministry in 2010 and “sponsored and funded by international organizations such as UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the U.S. government and the British Department for International Development,” “indicates that increased access to health care in Afghanistan, more hospitals and clinics, and more trained health care workers and doctors have significantly contributed to an overall improvement in the health of most Afghans,” the AP writes (11/30).

“The research puts maternal mortality rates below 500 deaths per 100,000 live births,” and “infant and under-fives mortality rates appear to be decreasing, with infant mortality now around 77 deaths per 1,000 live births and under-fives child mortality at around 97 deaths per 1,000 child births,” BBC News notes (11/30). “The Afghanistan director for [the] aid group Save the Children, David Skinner, told VOA that during the past four to five years, an increase in health workers has resulted in a significant increase in life expectancy,” VOA News writes, adding, “He said there is a need to build on the success, concentrating on neonatal care and using midwives from local communities” (12/1).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.