Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Social Responsibility Watch

The situation in Afghanistan is far from perfect, and will remain so for a long time. However, the liberation of that country from the Taliban and Al Qaeda has made things better for the Afghan people. For example, The Scotsman recently reported that the number of infant deaths in Afghanistan has declined by an estimated 40,000 per year since that country's liberation:

According to the preliminary results of a Johns Hopkins University study, the infant mortality rate has declined to about 135 per 1,000 live births in 2006, down from an estimated 165 per 1,000 in 2001.

The researchers "found improvements in virtually all aspects of care in almost every province," the public health ministry and World Bank said in a joint statement on the findings.

Mohammad Amin Fatimi, Afghanistan's public health minister, said the news was welcomed. "Despite many challenges, there are clear signs of health sector recovery and progress throughout the country," he said.

"But there is a long way to go to provide access to basic health services for Afghans in far remote, under-served and marginalised areas across the country. These infants are the future builders of our country."

Benjamin Loevinsohn, a World Bank health specialist, said the survey results probably underestimated the improvement in infant mortality.

"It's a conservative estimate. This is the situation two and a half to three years ago ... It should be better than that now," Mr Loevinsohn said.

(Link courtesy of Pajamas Media)

Please note that ALA's Social Responsibilities Round Table is on record as being against the liberation of Afghanistan.


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