Shining a light on women in Afghanistan: exploring better access to women’s healthcare
“International Women’s Day 2017 provided the perfect occasion for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to engage with the general public and representatives of the Australian Afghan humanitarian and development community to pull together the threads of education, public policy and MSF’s medical support that can contribute to better access for women to healthcare in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth with a high number of women dying during pregnancy or childbirth. Most maternal deaths can be avoided. The presence of a skilled attendant at the time of delivery, and the capacity to respond to complications, are key to preventing death. Yet up to two-in-three deliveries still occur in the home without such assistance. In rural areas and away from the big cities, the majority of women do not have adequate access to essential obstetric care. In the big cities too, the limited public healthcare services in the area are failing to keep pace with the demographic boom and public and private services are often unaffordable for many.
This public event included panellists who are experts in Afghan education, public policy and women’s health. Each brought their individual experience to discuss how improvements in these sectors might enhance the lives of women and their newborns now and into the future. ” – msf.org.au
Dr Claire Fotheringham – MSF Medical Advisor – Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Medical Unit representative.
Dr Nouria Salehi OAM – Director of the Australian Afghan Development Organisation.
Kara Blackburn – MSF Midwife
Dr Nadera Hayat Burhani – Former Deputy Minister of Public Health (maternal and child health) of Afghanistan.
Karen Middleton – currently Chief Political Correspondent at The Saturday Paper author of An Unwinnable War – Australia in Afghanistan‘ and respected political journalist, who moderated the event.
I was honoured to photograph this event for MSF Australia.