Afghanistan UN Government raise funds for new maternity ward in Bamiyan
17 July 2007Aiming to help reduce maternal mortality in Afghanistan, the United Nations has joined forces with the provincial government in Bamiyan to donate $10,000 for a new ward that will be annexed to the area’s main hospital. The money is being used to purchase land for a new maternity waiting home which will provide essential healthcare for expectant mothers in Bamiyan, reducing the risk of both maternal and child mortality, the UN said in a news release.Expectant mothers from rural areas where health facilities are scarce will receive accommodation and skilled assistance at the new facility. The maternal waiting home is part of a wider project being carried out by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) which will see maternity homes being built in five of Afghanistan’s northern provinces. “While huge progress has been made in maternal healthcare in recent years, far too many Afghan women continue to die from preventable causes during child birth,” said Heran Song, who heads the UN Mission in Afghanistan’s (UNAMA) office in Bamiyan. “Bamiyan’s new maternity waiting home will play a vital role in helping hundreds of expectant mothers from across the province, providing them and their children with the healthy start in life that they deserve.” Bamiyan facility had been on hold because of a lack of Government funds to buy suitable land when staff from UN agencies and the Provincial Government in Bamiyan joined to raise nearly $7,000. With further donations from staff at the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the Provincial Reconstruction Team, $10,000 was raised, enabling the local authorities to buy suitable land for the UNICEF project to commence.