Hospital on the Edge

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A mother looks despondently at her premature baby girl, held by ICRC nurse Kristina Alho in the women's intensive care unit at Mirwais Hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan, April 23, 2009. The mother tried to breast feed the baby, but the milk wouldn't come. Afghanistan has one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the world. Despite worsening security, development continues at Mirwais Hosptial, where the International Committe of the Red Cross conducts training and assists the local staff. Mirwais is the main public hosptial serving five southern provinces. As security has deteriorated in the South, many international NGO's have pulled their staff from the area or shut down the regional office, stunting development in a region where it is badly needed.