Readiness of emergency obstetric and newborn care in public health facilities in Afghanistan between 2010 and 2016

Nasratullah Ansari*, Hannah Tappis, Partamin Manalai, Zelaikha Anwari, Young Mi Kim, Jos J.M. van Roosmalen, Jelle Stekelenburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: To assess changes in readiness to provide emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC) in health facilities in Afghanistan between 2010 and 2016. Methods: A secondary analysis was performed of a subset of data from cross-sectional health facility assessments conducted in December 2009 to February 2010 and May 2016 to January 2017. Interviews with health providers, facility inventory, and record review were conducted in both assessments. Descriptive statistics and χ2 tests were used to compare readiness of EmONC at 59 public health facilities expected to provide comprehensive EmONC. Results: The proportion of facilities reporting provision of uterotonic drugs, anticonvulsants, parenteral antibiotics, newborn resuscitation, and cesarean delivery did not change significantly between 2010 and 2016. Provision of assisted vaginal deliveries increased from 78% in 2010 to 98% in 2016 (P<0.001). Fewer health facilities had amoxicillin (61% in 2016 vs 90% in 2010; P<0.001) and gentamicin (74% in 2016 vs 95% in 2010; P<0.002). The number of facilities with at least one midwife on duty 24 hours a day/7 days a week significantly declined (88% in 2016 vs 98% in 2010; P=0.028). Conclusion: Despite a few positive changes, readiness of EmONC services in Afghanistan in 2016 had declined from 2010 levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-368
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number3
Early online date7 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Afghanistan
  • Emergency obstetric and newborn care
  • Health facility assessment
  • Health facility readiness
  • Maternal health
  • Newborn health


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