Miss Mazary Haqyaar, 20, a midwife in Hazrat Sultan Comprehensive Health Center (CHC) was very happy as she was holding the newly-born baby in her arms. This was 17th out of the 19th delivery that was successfully carried -out by her. The rest two delivery cases, she was assisted by Mrs. Zar Panra, a senior midwife.
Miss Mazary is among the 21 midwives graduated from the Community Midwifery Education (CME) school in Samangan. Just two months, before she was deputed in the Hazrat Sultan CHC. The Hazrat Sultan CHC is located 30 Kilometers away from Aybak, the Provincial Headquarters of Samangan.
SCA is training midwives since 2004. Those graduated are working mainly in Laghman, Maidan Wardak, Samangan, Sar-e-Pul, Kunduz, Paktika and Nuristan provinces, providing healthcare and maternity assistance services to the mothers and newly-born babies.
Since 2004, SCA has trained 260 midwives in the CME schools located in Kunduz, Maidan wardak, Samangan, Sar-e-Pul and Laghman provinces. The Maidan Wardak and Laghman CME schools have enrolled 50 students in the new batches, while in Samangan, the process of selection for the new batch of CME school is in progress.
When we visited the Hazrat Sultan CHC, Miss Mazary Haqyaar was in the delivery room, assisting a woman in delivery. Upon the successful delivery Miss Mazary informed the family members of the woman, whom named the baby Inayatullah.
Miss Mazary who hails from Larghan, a village close to the Aybak, informed that everyday 60 women visit the clinic and every week 12-15 deliveries are reported. Two days before she also assisted in a delivery in which a mother of six delivered a baby boy.
“The reason, why I choose to be a midwife, can be an incident happened in our family.” Miss Mazary said that sometime before her aunt lost her life in a delivery. She had two children, all she give birth in home, but in third delivery she died. “Now I don’t want others to die while giving birth,” she added.
Miss Mazary parents have a small family, as compared to others in the area. Mazary the only daughter and two son, whom are studying in schools. “My older brother is in class 12 while the younger one is studying in class seven,” she said.
She was enrolled in the CME school in October 2012 and graduated as a trained and professional midwife in 2014. She is deputed in the Hazrat Sultan CHC where she will continue working for five consecutive years.
Why giving birth in a health clinic instead of home, Miss Mazary explained that a birth in a health clinic is benefited for the health of mothers. If a woman is giving birth in her home, there are chances she will lose her life or her newly born baby – as happened to my aunt, she said recalling her memories.
I am happy of my profession. My role is important in saving lives of mothers and babies, she added. Two days prior our visit, Miss Mazary had also assisted a woman in delivery. This day the family had brought the baby for vaccination. She hold the baby named Habibullah, and was pretty happy for her role in a normal and successful delivery of that baby.
Miss Mazary arrives to the clinic early morning 8:00 am and leaves at 4:00 pm. she is busy in the clinic for six days a week, daily eight hours with a 30 minutes rest for lunch and prayers. But even in home she can’t find time to take a rest. “When I return back home, I find a few women waiting for me, some of them pregnant. They all seek health advices.” Mazary says.
Midwives in Afghanistan are paid 300-700 US Dollars. The duty stations are health clinics are graded different. The easy accessed or clinics in urban areas, the midwife is paid 300 US dollars, while in remote areas the salary goes up to 700 US dollars (The salary is paid in AFS).
Miss Mazary says salary is not important for me, she says. I have a purpose of my life. “The purpose is to save lives of mothers.” she added.
Though considerable improvement is observed within the past a few years in maternal health, however, situation depicts reproductive health and safe motherhood still major health threat for the people of Afghanistan. A report presented “The State of Afghanistan’s; Midwifery 2014” highlights availability, acceptability and quality of midwifery profession as a challenge in the country and recommends a four-fold increase in investment in midwifery over the next 15 years to meet 60 percent of the needs for maternal and reproductive health services.
Afghan health authorities claim that Afghanistan is a regional leader on the midwifery profession and a model for reducing maternal mortality in post-conflict settings, however, the available 4,600 midwives currently can cover only 23 percent of the needs for maternal and reproductive health services in the country. It should be mentioned that in the report SCA has been indicated as one of the contributors for improved maternal health through supporting midwifery profession.