Serve Afghanistan specifically targets extremely poor communities, where mother and child healthcare are unlikely to be accessed. Over a quarter of all babies born in these communities die due to complications arising from very simple illnesses. According to a 2018 UNDP report, the official maternal mortality rate in Afghanistan is 396 for every 100,000 live births. However official reports suggest that the number of Afghan women dying in pregnancy or childbirth may be much higher.
Serve Afghanistan’s Birth Life Saving Skills or BLiSS was developed in partnership with Operation Mercy and Community Consultants International and has now been running in the regions Serve Afghanistan operates since 2005. It is approved by Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health for delivery across the country.
BLiSS is a vital mother & child health and nutrition educational training programme that is saving lives. The Infant Mortality Rate in the regions where Serve Afghanistan’s BLiSS programme is being run has been reduced by 42% and the education programme and training has led to 500 women’s lives saved during the delivery of their babies.
Serve Afghanistan, in line with Afghanistan’s Community Based Health Care Strategy (2015 – 2020) and its National Public Nutrition Strategy (2015 – 2020), works with selected Community Health Workers (CHWs) in reducing maternal and child mortality and morbidity in targeted locations. This is done by educating families about pregnancy and childbirth along with appropriate care, promoting good nutritional practices, intake of vitamins and minerals, provision of fortified foods and feeding practices through community health awareness and health education programmes with focus on the first 1000 days of life.