Because it’s just another dry statistic, you aren’t going to hear much about this in the media, but in Afghanistan infant mortality has dropped by 18% over the Taliban era. That means there are healthier children being provided better care, and that Afghanistan has a brighter future. You can expect that we will also see overall life expectancy go up, and real wealth to start growing again.
From the Frontier Post:
Infant mortality has dropped by 18 percent in Afghanistan, in one of the first real signs of recovery for the country five years after the fall of the Taliban regime, health officials said. “Despite many challenges, there are clear signs of health-sector recovery and progress throughout the country,” Dr. Muhammad Amin Fatimi, the health minister, told journalists here. The number of children who die before their first birthday has dropped to 135 per 1,000 in 2006 from 165 per 1,000 live births in 2001, according to a countrywide survey by Johns Hopkins University, Fatimi said. That represents a drop of 18 percent and means that 40,000 to 50,000 fewer infants are dying now than in the Taliban era, he said. “Thanks be to God they are celebrating, laughing and smiling,” he said. “These infants are the future builders of our country.” Research was conducted by visiting 8,000 households around the country — with four of 34 provinces excepted because of poor security — from September to November 2006, said Benjamin Loevinsohn, a health specialist from the World Bank. The findings are probably conservative, he said, since mothers were interviewed about the children they had given birth to over the past five years, and health services only began to improve countrywide in 2004.
This is as important a part of the war on Terrorism as the fronts the troops fight on. It is an end to the cycle of dirt, dust, death,Â and despair which creates ripe recruiting for terrorists and extremist mullahs.
The extremists realize that hope isÂ an awesome opponent, one that can’t be beat once recognized. Â That doesn’t stop them from trying.