House to Investigate Afghan Maternity Hospital

The House Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), launched an investigation this week into mismanagement of the Rabia Balkhi Women’s Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The investigation follows a report by the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) that highlights the serious concerns of health experts about the situation at Rabia Balkhi. A contractor’s assessment of the hospital found that Afghan physicians at the hospital often did not have basic knowledge of anatomy and physiology and lacked skills needed to resuscitate women and infants, reports the Daily Women’s Health Policy Report. The hospital also routinely lacked basic supplies, including surgical gloves and antibiotics.

“The (Atlanta Journal Constitution) reporting on the Rabia Balkhi Hospital raises serious questions about how the Bush administration responded to concerns raised about dismal conditions at the hospital,” said Waxman. “Millions of dollars have been spent on this initiative, and those funds should have been spent in ways that most effectively improve the quality of care for Afghan mothers and their babies.”


Atlanta Journal Constitution 11/18/07, 12/07/07; Daily Women�s Health Policy Report 12/7/07

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