The kind of health care that many of us take for granted is out of reach to hundreds of thousands of Afghans, and pregnant women and children are among the most vulnerable.
Great distances, towering mountains and other natural barriers prevent many people from being able to reach a clinic or hospital in a larger town. The remoteness of many communities, combined by grinding poverty and limited social services, are factors that also hinder the recruitment of qualified health staff to work in such isolated locations.
But several initiatives are helping to remedy such ills.
Powered by horses and donkeys, mobile medical teams are now trudging up dusty, narrow mountain paths to remote villages where they dispense essential health services to thousands of people, such as vaccinations and reproductive health care.
Women from remote communities are also being selected for training as midwives so they can take their life-saving skills back to their own communities to care for their own people.
Such initiatives are a step in the right direction and require continued support to ensure public health improves and health care in remote communities becomes sustainable.
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