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American Medical Humanitarian Organization Helps in Fight to Reduce Afghanistan's High Maternal and Infant Mortality Rates

Contact: Mike Schwager, 954-423-4414

HARRISBURG, Penn., Mar. 23 /Christian Newswire/ -- CURE International, an American Christian medical humanitarian organization, which for the last two years has been administering care to Afghanistan's neediest children and families, is now helping to reduce maternal and infant deaths in that country, one of the highest in the world.

Every day, 44 Afghan women die giving birth. The most significant constraints toward improving maternal health have been women's unmet needs for skilled delivery care, and inadequate access to comprehensive emergency obstetric care arising out of the inadequate number of qualified female staff and equipped facilities.

In addition, the infant mortality rate in Afghanistan is 165 per 1,000 live births, compared to only 7 per 1,000 in the USA; and child mortality before age 5 is 257 deaths per 1,000, compared to 8 per 1,000 in the USA.

CURE International, based in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania (near Harrisburg) has treated more than 120,000 patients in Afghanistan since early in 2005. CURE provides general practice and OB/GYN care and specializes in the orthopedic rehabilitation of children with disabilities. It has also instituted an OB/GYN medical training and treatment fellowship program, qualifying Afghan doctors with the most modern obstetric and gynecological knowledge and techniques.

The non-profit provides First World medical care and the training of doctors who are nationals in their own country - for the benefit of disabled and needy children in the hardest places of the world void of modern medicine or medical practitioners.

Dr. Jacqui Hill, Medical Director of the CURE Kabul International Hospital, says CURE's OB/GYN medical training and treatment fellowship program "is the finest in Afghanistan by far." Dr. Hill said that "there is a great hunger by doctors in Afghanistan for the knowledge and skills of the West, and we are training and inspiring the Afghans with precious knowledge that can be passed onto others."

CURE Kabul opened its maternity unit at the end of September 2005. The hospital and clinic together serve about 110 women each month (both inpatient and outpatient prenatal care). In 2005, CURE established a General Practice Residency Program, the OB/ GYN Fellowship training program and OB/GYN training for nurses and midwives. Ultrasound services became available in October 2005. The maternity ward was also refurbished in the autumn of 2005. In December 2005, the CURE International Hospital opened a modern Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to address the needs of critically ill newborns, premature newborns and newborns requiring close observation.

Since its founding in 1996 by Dr. Scott Harrison, CEO of CURE International, and his wife Sally, 526,000 children in eight developing countries have had their lives transformed through CURE's programs. The numbers of those helped continue to rise. Dr. Harrison's decision to start CURE is the direct result of his passion to cure the neediest disabled children in the world and to train others to do the same.

CURE hospitals will not turn away a patient due to an inability to pay, ethnic background or religious affiliation.

CURE International has been given 4 stars (highest rating) by Charity Navigators, the largest charity evaluator organization.