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Foreign Minister Paet in Southern Afghanistan: Estonia’s Goal is to Reduce Mortality of Women and Children

10.01.2011

No. 9-E

At his meeting with Governor of Helmand Province Gulab Mangal in the capital of Helmand Lashkar Gah, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Estonia would like to contribute first and foremost to building up the health care and education sectors in Helmand. “The goal is for as many women and children as possible to get better medical care and education than previously,” stated Paet.

Paet said that the goal is to significantly reduce the mortality of women and children. “Mortality in childbirth is too high in Afghanistan; too many children never see their first birthday, and far too many die of diseases that can easily be cured,” he added.

Estonia will continue to co-ordinate the development of the health care sector in Helmand. “We plan to expand the first aid trainings we have already done to other target groups and into other regions,” said Paet. “We are also proposing to bring together medical service pertaining to women in one complex—childbirth centre, midwife school, and emergency services; a new idea is an Estonian project in 2011 to establish a medical information hotline,” added Foreign Minister Paet.

At the meeting, Foreign Minister Paet also talked about supplementary training for health care workers in Helmand Province. “In 2011 we will support the school for nurses and midwives in Helmand Province with teaching materials and carry out training for medical workers on-site,” noted Foreign Minister Paet.

During the meeting Foreign Minister Paet also emphasised that for Estonia it is essential that at some moment the authorities of Helmand would accept the responsibility for taking care of health care issues. “We support the greater role of the central government in offering national health care services on a provincial level,” he said.

Yesterday Foreign Minister Paet met with health care experts in Helmand.

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry

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