AIL has recently held several health education workshops and we’d like to share some comments made by participants after the workshops.
“From this workshop I have learned many new things and plan to implement them in my life. I have learned that it is important for a mother to try and prevent herself from getting sick since prevention is better than curing a sickness. I plan to implement the preventions I’ve learned in my life and teach it to my children.”
“I did not vaccinate my child because I did not think it was important, but now I will do it as soon as I leave the workshop. Now I understand how important it is for my child’s health.”
In 2008 AIL provided health services to 156,966 women through its fixed and mobile, rural health clinics in Herat and Kabul provinces and through Community Health Worker outposts. In conjunction with health care service,112,674 women received health education. AIL believes in providing education at every opportunity as this is the way to help people improve their health and welfare.
In the past in Afghanistan, women did not come to clinics for assistance because they did not find that they helped. Over the last seven years, a great deal of trust has been built between the AIL clinic staff and the villagers in the rural areas that they serve. The result is that villagers are now coming to the clinic for delivery of their babies, a rarity in the past. Following is a story from one of the AIL clinics in Herat which shows the positive results that come from having a clinic that is used by people in the area that they live. In the past, this baby probably would have died.
A clinic midwife said: "Parimah came to the clinic for delivery at 11 am. She gave birth but the baby was not breathing. We quickly suctioned the baby's nose and mouth kept him warm. We started 40 breath/second and we saw movement of his chest; after two minutes of assistance, his chest moved and he gave a weak cry. The baby was cyanotic so we gave him oxygen. After the resuscitation, the baby got better and his breathing was good and he was able to nurse. We referred him to the vaccine room and educated his mother about breast feeding, post natal care and how to take care of her newborn."
With the support of all of you that have donated to this project, this baby's life was saved!
Following is a story as reported by a female nurse at one of AIL’s clinics about a woman that came to the clinic for treatment after being injured while working with her husband on their house.
One day in early July a woman was brought to the clinic by her husband and her mother. The woman said “My husband was building rooms on our house this morning, and I was helping when suddenly a brick dropped on my head, and my head was broken. My mother put black tea on the wound area to stop the bleeding, but the bleeding did not stop. My husband brought me to the clinic.”
A female nurse dressed the injured area with anti-septic liquid and then sent the woman to the OPD room for examination and advised her to come to the clinic to have her dressings changed every other day. The OPD doctors asked her about her mental condition (did she have vomiting or vertigo), and she had no problems. She was in good condition, and was then discharged from the clinic. The woman and her family thanked AIL and the health staff.
Creating Hope International’s partner, the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), has 3 rural health clinics—Imam Shish Nur and Jagartan Clinics in Herat Province and Mir Bacha Kot Clinic in Kabul Province. From January through June 2008, AIL’s three clinics:
- treated 63,345 total patients
- treated 9,347 reproductive health patients
- vaccinated 17,977 women and children
- gave health education lessons to 31,563 women and children
- treated 182 children for malnutrition
- held reproductive health and women’s health workshops for 697 women
Nearly all of the patients treated at AIL’s 3 rural clinics are women and children. In the first 6 months of 2008, the rural clinics treated 12,258 more patients than in the same time period during 2007.
The Community Health Worker (CHW) program in the Herat clinics continues to be a great in building the “health capacity” of the rural communities where the CHWs work. In the first six months of 2008, CHWs visited 39,781 families and provided health services to 18,791 patients. During each visit, CHWs also give health education information to the families. Since the Afghan government recently said that no fees could be charged at clinics resulting in many more patients, most of whom are not ill, coming to the clinics, the CHW program will continue to be helpful in alleviating the patient load at the clinics.
Following is a story demonstrating the dedication of the clinic staff and the benefit the clinic’s services are bringing to those who live in rural areas:
Pharmacist of Iman Shish Nur Clinic in Herat said: “The 12th of January was a cold and snowy day; with a lot of problems when we arrived at the clinic. When the people who had been to the clinic before saw us, they were happy. They said ‘we didn’t think that you come to the clinic.’ That day we visited more than 50 patients. It was very helpful for the people because this clinic is their only hope.”
The Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) has 3 rural health clinics—Imam Shish Nur and Jagartan Clinics in Herat Province and Mir Bacha Kot Clinic in Kabul Province. From January through June 2007, AIL’s three clinics:
• treated 51,087 total patients
• treated 8,039 reproductive health patients
• vaccinated 24,717 women and children
• gave health education lessons to 41,534 women and children
• treated 184 children for malnutrition
• held reproductive health and women’s health workshops for 812 women
In Herat, a new, larger clinic building was constructed to replace the old existing building in Jagartan and a new wall was built around the clinic in Imam Shish Nur.
Because of the emphasis that AIL places on health education, there has been a significant decrease (50%) in the number of children being treated for malnutrition.
The Community Health Worker (CHW) program in the Herat clinics is greatly helping to build the “health capacity” of the rural communities where the CHWs work. In the first six months of 2007, CHWs visited 38,862 families and provided health services to 13,956 patients. During each visit, CHWs also give health education information to the families.
A few reports from clinic staff and patients follow:
The outreach vaccinator of Iman Shish Nur Clinic in Herat reported," One day when I went to a village, a lot of women gathered round me for vaccinations for their children. In the beginning I explained to them the advantages of vaccination. When I finished, a woman asked me why I vaccinated women and children. I answered because the vaccine prevents you and your children from getting some dangerous diseases. The TT vaccine protects you from Tetanus and Polio; Diphtheria; Pertussis; TT; Hepatitis B and Measles vaccine protects children. She asked me again, why do you vaccinate the women between the 15-49 year olds? I answered because you have menstruation and give birth to babies. If you don’t get vaccine, you will get different illnesses. She said if we get TT vaccine, will it prevent us from getting tetanus disease? I told her yes, when you have completed your five periods of vaccine you are fully immunized and your children too. In the end, all the women were happy because they and their children will be fully immunized against dangerous diseases.”
The midwives of Jaghartan Clinic in Herat said," This month we gave more information to women about family planning methods including IUD and its benefits. They were encouraged to use this method and they promised to talk to their husbands and then come back. We encouraged the pregnant women to come for a safe delivery in the clinic and showed them the sterile midwifery area, delivery room and its equipment.”
Some CHWs in Herat from different areas said," Now it is the season of reaping wheat and other grain. During the reaping the farmers cut their hands or feet and they need dressings and so the CHWs dress the injuries. The people are happy with the CHW services because they are able to provide health services for the people.”
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