Mobile Midwives in Kabul

We work with mobile midwives who go from door to door in and around Kabul to reduce mother and child mortality and to improve mother child health overall.

Mobile Midwives in Kabul

Kabul, Afghanistan

Because of ongoing conflicts and the geographic isolation of some regions, Afghan women do not always have access to health services, which explains why pregnancy and child birth were among the main factors in mortality rate for mothers in the early 2000’s. The displacement of large sections of the population only exacerbated the problem.

To reduce the number of deaths, one of the most effective approaches is to establish professional continuity in the care of women and newborn infants from the beginning of pregnancy to the first months of a baby’s life. This is what is offered by the Terre des hommes health project, launched in January 1996.

We currently operate in several districts in Kabul, including several camps for displaced people, totalling 6 intervention areas in the city. Tdh midwives visit the homes of mothers and their infants in the most vulnerable areas. Some midwives even live in the communities to provide 24h/7d care. During visits, midwives identify pregnant women, monitor them throughout their pregnancy and accompany them during and after childbirth. The midwives also use these meetings to discuss the childbirth with the husband and family and to persuade them to go to a health center for the delivery. They also provide advice and offer kits that allow for giving birth in a more hygienic environment.

The initial hours, days and weeks soon after delivery are considered to be the most dangerous moments for both the mother and child. Records have shown that most deaths occur during delivery and immediately after child birth mainly due to complications of pregnancy. Trained midwives can identify risks early and can refer women to health centers if needed.

Through the close relationship the midwives have with the families through their service, they can also advise on family planning, child health, as well as organize group sessions among mothers and young women in the communities. Health improvement is therefore combined with social work.

"The house to house concept is extremely important in Afghanistan. The midwives know the socio-cultural and epidemiological context of maternal and newborn health and ethics that form the basis of appropriate care."

Doctor Noor Khanum, manager of the Kabul health project