The Challenge – According UNDP, infant and under-five mortality rates in Afghanistan are among the highest in the world, with 1 in every 4 children expected to die before the age of five. Nearly 60% of these deaths are the result of treatable infectious causes, such as diarrhea, acute respiratory infections and vaccine-preventable illnesses which makes the situation even more tragic. Yet, while a large number of these cases are preventable, many Afghans’ access to proper healthcare is often many miles away or simply unavailable.
The Bayat Foundation Responds – In partnership with likeminded NGOs and partner donors, the Bayat Foundation has embarked upon a mission to build ten maternity hospitals across the country whose main focus is maternal wellbeing, child health, and safe births, including a 50-bed maternity hospital in Maimana City, Faryab province and a 20-bed maternity hospital in Tora Bora district, Ningarhar Province.
In 2009 alone, over 192,000 babies were born in such Foundation supported maternity facilities, and the Bayat Foundation is currently looking to further alleviate the suffering of mothers and children via the deployment and use of proven sonogram machines capable of sending ultrasound images of a prenatal fetus to the United States where experienced doctors would examine the images to identify the health of the unborn child.