After the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Afghanistan experienced a tumultuous period of democracy overshadowed by conflict, widespread insurgency, and an inflow of development assistance. Although there have been several cross-sectional assessments of health gains over the last decade, there has been no systematic analysis of progress and factors influencing maternal and child health in Afghanistan. Despite conflict and poverty, Afghanistan has made reasonable progress in its reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health indicators over the last decade based on contributions of factors within and outside the health sector. However, equitable access to health care remains a challenge and present delivery models have high transactional costs, affecting sustainability. To maintain and further accelerate health and development gains, future strategies in Afghanistan will need to focus on investments in improving social determinants of health and targeted cost-effective interventions to address major causes of maternal and newborn mortality.
Afghanistan Central Statistics Organization. National risk and vulnerability assessment 2007–08: a profile of Afghanistan. https://www.unodc.org/documents/afghanistan//EUGovtofAFG_NRVA_2007-8_report.pdf.
Bhutta, ZA. Children of war: the real casualties of the Afghan conflict. BMJ. 2002; 324: 349–352
WHO, UNICEF, and Countdown to 2015. Fulfilling the health agenda for women and children: the 2014 report. World Health Organization, UN Children's Fund, Geneva; 2014