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  • Signing of Grant Agreement with UNICEF for Afghanistan: Supporting improved access to health services for mothers and children through a national campaign to promote the Maternal and Child Health Handbook

Press Releases

September 3, 2018

Signing of Grant Agreement with UNICEF for Afghanistan: Supporting improved access to health services for mothers and children through a national campaign to promote the Maternal and Child Health Handbook

photosigning ceremony
photoThe Maternal and Child Health Handbook in Pashto and Dari language versions with abundant illustrations provided due to the low female literacy rate

On August 29, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide grant aid of up to 894 million yen for the Project for Promoting Maternal and Child Health Handbook.

The objective of the project is to improve the accessibility and the quality of maternal and child health services by supporting the efforts necessary for the Government of Afghanistan to promote the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Handbook throughout the country.

Much improvement has been made in Afghanistan over the past two decades in the maternal mortality rate (396 per 100,000 births in 2016 compared to 1,240 per 100,000 in 1996) and the infant mortality rate (53 per 1,000 live births in 2016 compared to 100 per 1,000 in 1996). Despite such progress, however, the mortality rates in Afghanistan today exceed the averages in South Asia overall, and the lives of too many mothers and children continue to be lost. In response, the Government of Afghanistan continues in its national effort to improve maternal and child health.

As part of its support for policies of the Government of Afghanistan to improve maternal and child health, JICA conducted training in cooperation with the Government of Indonesia in 2015, and JICA has been supporting the preparation and introduction of the MCH Handbook in Afghanistan since 2016.

Widespread utilization of the MCH Handbook through the project will make it possible for mothers and other family members to learn about maternal and child health and the health services that are available. At the same time, healthcare facilities will be able to provide appropriate healthcare services on the basis of MCH Handbook records, which is expected to contribute to a reduction in maternal and infant mortality and the promotion of universal health coverage.

Details for the project are provided below.

[Basic project information]
Country Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Project title The Project for Promoting Maternal and Child Health Handbook
Planned implementation period 39 months
Executing agency Ministry of Public Health (Afghanistan) and UNICEF
Target region, facilities Throughout Afghanistan
Specific project details (provisional) (1) Material procurement
Printing and distribution of MCH Handbooks
Printing and distribution of guidelines for the utilization of the MCH Handbook
(2) Soft component
Training in utilization of the MCH Handbook, monitoring, evaluation, and awareness outreach

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