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U.S. to Send Health Books to Afghan Mothers

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced a new campaign to provide Afghan women with basic health and nutrition information. The country has the world's highest maternal mortality rate, and statistics for its children are grim, with one out of four children dying before age five. The agency plans to ship 20,000 interactive, talking books to the country in an effort to improve health conditions there.

HHS teamed up with Leapfrog, the makers of high-tech learning toys, to develop the Afghan Family Health Book. It's designed to allow those who can't read to access information by pointing to pictures with a stylus and then listening.

The book includes information about preventive health care, nutrition, reproductive health and childbirth, and basic hygiene. NPR's Julie Rovner reports.

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Julie Rovner is a health policy correspondent for NPR specializing in the politics of health care.Reporting on all aspects of health policy and politics, Rovner covers the White House, Capitol Hill, the Department of Health and Human Services in addition to issues around the country. She served as NPR's lead correspondent covering the passage and implementation of the 2010 health overhaul bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.