Twenty-three years of war and conflict has largely destroyed Afghanistan's health infrastructure. Today, one in four children dies from preventable causes before reaching the age of five. The number of women dying in childbirth is among the highest in the world, at 1,600 deaths per 100,000 live births. In the United States, this figure is approximately 12 deaths per 100,000 live births. As Afghanistan's Ministry of Health begins to reconstruct the country's health sector, one of its top priorities is improving these maternal and child mortality rates. In December 2002, Dr.