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[Comment] Maternal mortality in Afghanistan: setting achievable targets

In 2002, soon after the NATO-led overthrow of the Taliban regime, a survey of maternal mortality in Afghanistan was done, commissioned by the Afghan Ministry of Public Health, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF. The results were published in The Lancet in 2005 and estimated the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) to be 1600 deaths per 100 000 livebirths (95% CI 1100–2000),1,2 among the highest in the world and consistent with the UN estimates.1 In the most remote rural district, Ragh, in mountainous Badakhshan Province, the estimate was 6507 per 100 000 livebirths,1 among the highest MMRs recorded globally.