Saleha Bayat Hospital inaugurated in Mazar-i-Sharif by Afghanistan's President Karzai and the Founder of the Bayat Foundation, Ehsanullah Bayat

On Thursday, Feb. 22, President Karzai, joined the Founder of the Bayat Foundation, Ehsanullah Bayat, and other top government officials, in inaugurating a state of the art 100-bed maternity hospital built by the Bayat Foundation in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital of the Northern Balkh Province.
The two-story hospital boasts world-class facilities, which includes fully equipped rooms with all the modern facilities and two world-class operation theaters. The hospital is staffed by well-trained medical staff and will dispense free medical facilities to expectant mothers and their babies.

According to Balkh governor Atta Mohammed Noor, the construction of the hospital would address the longstanding demands of the people for timely and adequate health care for new mothers and their babies. With Saleha Bayat Hospital now open to the public in Mazar-i-Sharif, Ehsanullah Bayat is getting ready to lay the foundation for two additional hospitals that he plans to build in Afghanistan within the next two years.

According to Mr. Bayat, "This is one way of helping the people of Afghanistan who have for long been denied of adequate medical facilities"

The Saleha Bayat Hospital initiative started in March of 2006, when a ceremony was held in Balkh Province attended by Ehsanullah Bayat and chief of the Balkh Public Health Department, Mirwais Rabbi, local influentials, and government officials to lay the foundation for the Saleha Bayat 100-bed maternity Hospital. The state of the art hospital with all modern facilities was completed in a record time of just 11 months.

According to the World Health Organization's health status indicators, the infant mortality rate in Afghanistan was 147 per 1,000 live births in 2002, and the maternal mortality ratio was 160 per 1,000 live births in 2002. These high mortality rates were due to the fact that only 16 percent of new mothers were receiving antenatal care and only about 14 percent of births were attended by skilled health personnel. Due to lack of hospitals and healthcare, many women were forced to deliver their babies at home, therefore, increasing the risk of death to both themselves and the baby. With the availability of new health facilities in the country and more awareness of the importance of antenatal care across Afghanistan, women will have a better chance of delivering a healthy baby and living to see their child grow.

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