Kabul, 20 December 2021 (TDI): According to the note, the Malalai Maternity Hospital is one of the busiest hospitals in Kabul. The hospital welcomes 85 babies every day, 20 of them by c-section. The ongoing humanitarian crisis is undermining drastically the capacity and also the ability of the staff capacity to care for their patients.

The head midwife at the Malalai maternity hospital, Shahla Oruzgani, mentioned some of the challenges that the staff is facing. According to Oruzgani, those challenges are shortages of equipment, supplies, and medicine, a lack of fuel and heating facilities; and uncertain support from partners, as the winter looms by and is nearer every day.

The head midwife at Kabul's Malalai Maternity Hospital attends to a newborn.
The head midwife at Kabul’s Malalai Maternity Hospital attends to a newborn.

Doctor Aqila Bahrami works at the Ahmad Shah Baba Hospital, the outlook there is the same. Bahrami mentioned that the staff of Baba Hospital used to receive regular support from an international NGO, but that support ended as the staff of NGOs left.


She then told UNFPA that the hospital staff is in serious need of medical supplies. Both Malalai and Shah Baba Hospital received emergency reproductive health kits from UNFPA. These two hospitals were the first ones in Afghanistan to receive them as well.

Those kits of UNFPA contain essential drugs, medicine, and equipment; and also its objective is to ensure safe deliveries and support the reproductive, maternal, and also newborn health needs of at least 328,000.

According to the note, currently, several hospitals are receiving more than 300 kits in Kabul and across 15 provinces; through mobile health teams. The UNFPA is planning to distribute more in the coming weeks.


The Malalai Hospital has been receiving more and more women seeking healthcare. The note mentioned that many of those women have been internally displaced from the northern provinces of Afghanistan into the capital.

Furthermore, those women that seek assistance to Malalai increased since the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. The number of patients gradually returned to normal, but the resources of the hospital were badly depleted.

Oruzgani expressed her concern regarding the worsening of the situation if the healthcare system fails. Then the note mentioned that the preliminary estimates warn that the current humanitarian emergency and suspension of lifesaving reproductive services could be catastrophic.

The reason is that without that aid, women and girls could cause up to 58,000 additional maternal deaths, 5.1 million unintended pregnancies, and a near doubling of the unmet need for family planning over the next four years.

Furthermore, Oruzgani then added that in a country where a woman dies every two hours from pregnancy-related complications; the UNFPA kits are vital. The kits are important as hospital resources are running out and the support we were receiving has dwindled; the staff of the hospitals cannot be sure where the next assistance will come from.