Birth control promoted in Afghanistan to lower maternal mortality

Mullahs in Afghanistan are trying to prevent health and economic problems in the country by promoting birth control.

It is hoped that by distributing birth control pills, maternal mortality rates will be lowered.

Health experts have said that contraception is starting to be increasingly adopted in the country, which has the second highest maternal death rate in the world.

Afghanistan also has one of the highest fertility rates, averaging more than six babies per woman.

However awareness of contraception is still low, with UNICEF estimating ten per cent of women in the country use birth control.

However the use of condoms and injected forms of birth control increased to 27 per cent over eight months in three rural areas, according to a study carried out by Dr Douglas Huber for the US-based Management Sciences for Health.

"The main take-home point is that for women who do not want to be pregnant now, it can be a double tragedy for her to die from a pregnancy she did not want — especially when we could have helped her," he said.

Elsewhere, a social programme in Bolivia that prevents the deaths of two mothers a day from complications associated with pregnancy has the potential to cut the alarmingly high maternal mortality rate in the country by up to 80 per cent in just five years, IPS News reported.ADNFCR-2094-ID-19648753-ADNFCR