An Afghan nurse checks a crying newborn boy who was born that morning in the maternity ward of a hospital in Kabul on March 15, 2010.  Afghanistan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world with an estimated 1,800 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. The high birthrate places a heavy weight on a society where average per capita earnings are about USD700 a year. It is also a risk to mothers. Afghanistan is second only to Sierra Leone in maternal mortality rates, which run as high as 8 percent in some areas. Afghanistan has one of the world's highest fertility rates, averaging more than six babies per woman despite years of war and a severe lack of medical care. Awareness of, and access to, contraceptives remains low among many couples, with UNICEF estimating 10 percent of women use some form of birth control. Photo Credit: AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI

Today, we look at USAID’s seminal role in working to focus global attention on the issue of newborn survival. Read more >>

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