PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Two dozen local women from from several districts throughout Paktya Province graduated from midwife training in Gardez Nov. 30.
The graduation ceremony, held at the Gardez Midwife Training Center, included speeches from local government officials, songs, poem recitations, a gymnastics demonstration and skits performed by midwife graduates.
The first speaker, and host of the ceremony, was Dr. Nadir Noori, the Paktya Director of Public Health. Noori voiced his concerns regarding infant and maternal mortality rates during childbirth and how he plans to help solve the problem.
“Sixteen-hundred out of every 100,000 Afghan women die during the birthing of a child,” said Noori. “We will continue to work with the (Provincial Reconstruction Team), (U.S. Agency for International Development) and several other organizations to create more midwife programs in Paktya.”
Also speaking at the event was Deputy Gov. Abdul Rhaman Mangal.
“The Director of Public Health and the midwives are decreasing the number of women dying during childbirth,” said Mangal. “I want to congratulate you for continuing to decrease this number.”
Following Mangal’s remarks, various government officials and prominent members of the local community handed out certificates to the graduates. They were also given several gifts from government officials, instructors from the Midwife Training Center, the PRT and family members.
Mangal said the people of Paktya have come a long way in creating a stronger government, addressing medical needs and increasing development, but there is always room for improvement.
“We have done a lot for healthcare and development in our province,” said Mangal. “We finished 180 kilometers of roads and have 80 kilometers of roads in progress. I hope, in the future, that we can solve all problems in Paktya.”