Save Rural Afghan Women & Children With Healthcare


Just an update on our Expectant Mother Program.  The results from the program for 2011 are in and we are ecstatic!  Of the 118 pregnant women in the program, exactly half, 59, had delivered by the end of the year.  Of those, only one chose to have a home birth and the other 58 had clinic births.  There were no stillborn and no complications for any of these mothers.  These statistics are phenomenal and we couldn’t be more pleased!  The other 59 women in the program are still being followed by the AIL staff and we hope to have more good news in upcoming reports.

Please keep in mind that Wednesday, March 14, 2012 is Bonus Day through Global Giving.  Donations up to $1,000.00 will be provided with a 30% match.  The bonus allotment is $50,000.00 and the period runs from 12:01 AM EST until the funds are exhausted.  So, if you would like your donation to go a little further with the help of GlobalGiving, give early on March 14th.  Thank you!

In addition to the rural clinics operated by the Afghan Institute of Learning, there are CHW’s (Community Health Workers) working in the rural villages of Herat and Kabul.  More than 65,000 families were visited by these CHW’s between January and November of this year.  The CHWs are able to offer health education, first aid, and assist in prenatal and postnatal care and deliveries.  They can also offer health assessments and refer patients to clinics when the illness or wound is more than they can take care of.

All of the health aspects of AIL’s programs have steadily increased over the years.  More and more patients are being seen and treated and AIL intends to continue and expand its services.

Thank you to all of you who supported these efforts.

From January through August of this year, the Afghan Institute of Learning has held 10 separate, five day Seminars on Reproductive Health.  The total number of women who have attended these seminars is 333.  The participants vary.  Some are housewives, students, teachers, and government workers.  Many of the participants are illiterate and the program is adapted to be very easy to understand using pictures, oral instruction and by having the attendees actively participate with question and answer and hands-on activities.

The women are informed of all aspects of pregnancy, labor, delivery, breastfeeding, child spacing and how to keep themselves healthy before, during and after a pregnancy.  Parisa, one of the participants said, “This workshop can prevent the mortality of women and their children.  Women receive enough information about all of the issues of delivery and reproductive health and we can carry this information to others, especially our families.  Now I can provide reasons to others why it is better to deliver in a clinic or hospital instead of at home.” 

Another AIL Project, “Transform Lives of 70,000 Afghan Adolescent Girls” has been chosen to be part of the Girl Effect Challenge, which runs from October 15 through November 15, 2011.  Approximately 60 projects have been included in this challenge.  The top six projects with the highest number of unique donations will become part of the Girl Effect Fund for one year and each is expected to earn an additional $25,000.  Please check out our project #8791, and thank you for your generous support of our programs!

A recent report by “Save the Children” listed Afghanistan as the worst place to be a woman.  One reason for this was the very high mortality rate.  According to that report, the lifetime risk of maternal death is 1 in 11, and the life expectancy of a female in Afghanistan is 45.

 AIL continues to reach more people, especially women, through their health education programs.  Subjects taught include women’s health, violence against women, reproductive health, first aid, self-immolation, family planning, vaccinations, nutrition and other topics requested by participants. 

 Additionally, AIL began a pilot program for Expectant Mothers in November, 2010.  We are beginning to see the results of this program, and they are very positive. Since the Expectant Mother program workshops started in November 2010:

  • only 6 mothers from the 37 who attended workshops in November 2010 through February 2011 gave birth at home.  The vast majority have had their babies at the clinic or hospital. This is remarkable in a society where home birth is the norm and where today’s mothers were most likely born at home and have mothers themselves or mothers in law who believe home birth the accepted practice as they themselves experienced it.  These women have little or no access to women who have had births at clinics or hospitals so they are stepping out of the known in choosing a clinic birth.
  • Only one stillbirth and one complication were recorded for the 37 women who have had their babies since attending a workshop. This is a rate of  2.7%. The national average is currently recorded by UNFPA for stillbirth as 70 per 1000 live births and by Afghan government as 5.2% in 2010 for neonatal death.
  • There have been no maternal deaths compared to national rate of 820 deaths per 100,000 births (UNFPA) and as 1.4% by UNICEF

A doctor in one of AIL’s rural clinics shared the following story: 

“One day a woman came into our clinic with her baby. She said the baby was very weak and had some breathing problems.  After weighing and measuring the baby, it was clear that the baby was undernourished.  I asked the mother if the baby had been given powder formula and she said yes.  She had breastfed the baby until she was one year old and then gave her formula.  I talked with the mother about good nutrition and about feeding the baby less at one time but more times per day.  I gave her some nutrition powder and other medicine for the baby.  The lady came back two weeks later to get some more medicine and then she returned two weeks after that and her baby was doing much better.  I weighed and measured the baby again and this time it was better.  The mother was so happy that the baby was doing so much better.”

According to all of the AIL Health staff, “It is the health education and the personal attention  that we give the patients that has made the most difference in the health of the women and children who come to our clinics.”

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Project Leader

Sakena Yacoobi

Founder & CEO
Dearborn, Michigan United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Save Rural Afghan Women & Children With Healthcare