Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care

by Afghan Institute of Learning
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care
Save Afghan Women & Children with Health Care

Dear Friends,

We are delighted to let you know that an AIL project has been selected as one of only six projects in the GlobalGiving Girl Fund! The project is 921 Afghan Institute of Learning Empowers Afghan Women. This project will receive one sixth of the donations made during the rest of this year to this special Fund! We would not have been selected for this opportunity without the support we received in the month of March from many donors such as yourselves. Great team effort! Thank you!

Project Update

AIL has always approached helping poor Afghan women and children with a multi- pronged approach combining health care and education with education and skills training. AIL’s health program is a strong and sustaining element of this philosophy. Women cannot be empowered if they are unwell and lack the necessary knowledge to be healthy and keep their families healthy.  AIL has 4 fixed clinics and outreach units at one Learning Center and an orphanage. So far in 2017, AIL has treated 51,446 (70% women and children) and given health education to 38,404.

Here is a story from the orphanage:  Hamida had this to say, “When I was playing in the nursery playground I slipped and fell from the top of the walkway.My right foot hurt a lot as it hit an iron rod. I felt that my foot bone was broken.  My friends took me to the health department of the nursery immediately.  Fortunately, the doctor was there.I was crying from the bad pain. He immediately injected me with a painkiller to help calm me. After the examination, the doctor told me fortunately, my foot was not broken. However, it was injured badly. “I will prescribe you some medicine and analgesic ointment to apply it once at night in order to get well soon. You must rest and do not stand on your feet for at least ten days.” 

I really do not know how to express my feelings toward Professor Sakena Yacoobi  who made these facilities for the orphans.  I really had no idea what to do with an injured and painful foot if there were not a health department in the nursery. I do not have anyone who could help me. Thank You! “

Health education is given whenever and wherever possible such as at clinics, at Community Health Worker (CHWs) visits, at schools and Learning Centers. Health messages are part of everyday and every class at the centers. For example, students studying mobile literacy send text messages about health to their class mates.

AIL oversees 15 CHW posts which are manned by two person teams. Their job is to give basic care and advice and health education as well as referred people to clinics. They tend pregnant women in their villages giving the necessary information about pregnancy and safe delivery. In 2017, CHWs have already visited 10,099 families expanding the reach of AIL’s health program and empowering women to take care of their health.

Thank you for your support for women in Afghanistan.

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Dear Friends,

Today the Little by Little Matching Campaign goes live! 50% match available up to $50 per individual donor per project.

This opportunity applies to all Creating Hope International and Afghan Institute of Learning  projects on GlobalGiving. You can give to more than one project up to $50 being matched!

Matching starts today, April 3rd 9:00 am EDT and ends April 7th midnight EDT while the $50,000 funds last. Hurry and donate!

EXTRA! $3,000 in bonus prizes awarded to top 5 projects that raise most funds! Can you help us?

There’s more!

AIL’s two projects: Fast Tracking Education for Afghan Women and Girls and Save Rural Afghan Women and Children with Health care are eligible for Safer World Fund 50% match too!! 

Your $50 donation could be worth $100 through both funds!  Donate now to get this double dip matching!

In the first two months of the year, AIL has provided 34,490 patients with health care and given health education to 23,690. This care and education is of top quality and changes lives for the better. The local people travel miles to attend one of AIL’s 4 fixed clinics, Learning Center clinic or Orphanage Clinic. They know they will be well cared for and at each visit learn something about how to protect their health in the future.  Fifteen villages in Herat Province have Community Health Worker posts run by a man and woman team. They provide first aid, pregnancy and birth care and vaccinations and other health care matters. These units are particularly valuable to isolated villages giving the people a local, first stop for health needs. In January and February, CHWs made 6,764 visits to families.

Here is a story from Fareshta, an orphan who lives at the Herat orphanage. “One day I was feeling abdominal pains and it made me weak so I went to the doctor for treatment. The doctor started the checkup and he asked me  what I ate the previous night and he also asked about the food that I had eaten at school. So I told him that I only ate a sandwich at school. He said I had food poisoning from bacteria. He gave me an injection and it worked and I felt better and the sickness was washed out of my system.The doctor also mentioned some issues and points which I should take care.  For example, he said that I should not eat foods which have been cooked on the streets or outside of the home because it also makes us sick. So I promised the doctor that I would not eat those foods anymore as I don’t want to get sick again."

Thank you for your support.

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Dear Friends,

AIL’s health workshop program gives in depth information to women in two formats, reproductive health workshops that are five days long and expectant mother workshops which are 3 hours long. In 2016, there have been 11 RH workshops for 330 women and 15 EM workshops for 296 women (149 pregnant and 147 caregivers).

Afghanistan has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world. This is partly due to a lack of prenatal education, a lack of access to clinics and hospitals and a tradition where home births are the norm. AIL gives workshops to provide women with in depth knowledge about their bodies and reproduction. The EM workshops have been highly success with 6 years of workshop data showing 99.8% of women (who reported a birth) chose a clinic/hospital birth. There have been no maternal deaths or still births in the group who reported in. As with all knowledge in this verbal society, the information learned is passed from those who attend the workshop to their families, thus extending the influence of the workshops far beyond the 980 participants over 6 years.

“Halima, is another pregnant mother who says, "When some of the women told about their pregnancy problems, I felt ashamed to share health issues like this. However, I understand now. From attending in this workshop, I learned that I made mistakes. The problems are natural issues for all women and we should not be ashamed of them. Simagul says, "I lost one of my children from the problems mentioned. My family called the problems my destiny and did not make any effort for treatment for me. Now I figured out my mistake from this interesting workshop and what to do in the future."

Thank you for your continued support. Please read the attached year end newsletter.


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Dear Friends,

Today is #GivingTuesday! $500,000 in Matching funds are available for donations made to all Creating Hope International and Afghan Institute of Learning projects on GlobalGiving. 

50% match up to $1,000 per individual donor per organization while funds last. In addition, new recurring donations up to $100 USD per month per unique donor per organization will have their initial donation matched at 200% on #GivingTuesday. Hurry up and donate!..Read our report below.

AIL has a comprehensive reproductive health program which helps women with all related issues. The workshop program gives in depth information to women in two formats, reproductive health workshops that are five days long and expectant mother workshops which are 3 hours long. So far in 2016, there have been 9 RH workshops for 270 women and 7 EM workshops for 136 women (68 pregnant).

All women who visit a clinic or see a Community Health Worker are asked about reproductive health matters and given health education about this. The goal is to educate women to know about their bodies and what to expect in life especially during pregnancy and childbirth. Afghanistan continues to have a rate of maternal/infant mortality that is too high. Education is key to getting this number down.

Many women rely on the AIL clinics as their only source for quality health care and this is crucial during pregnancy. Here is a story from one clinic:"Ghandigul was referred to our clinic for her labor pains. The mother was so frustrated and was weeping. When we checked her personal case of illness and her vital signs, we figured out that she had lost many children as soon as she gave birth.

The examination showed that she was expected twin babies this time. She was dilating but she wanted to go home to the desert even in this condition.  The first baby’s position was vertex and the second one was in breech. We were able to resolve this and persuade the mother to give birth in the clinic.   The two children were born and both had 8 Apgar scores after giving them artificial respiration and oxygen.    The patient’s helper was very happy and told us that if the patient did not give birth today, she would have taken her to the desert with us. Who knows where and how she would have delivered her children? I am sure she would have lost her son again. The patient said that she could not believe that she was finally a mother.  I prescribed the patient medicine and after they got the prescription they went home". 

 Thank you for your support.

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What happens when you set out with a mission and a goal and you find yourself at the end of a road with no outlet? This happens with projects. You know what you want to achieve but you hit an obstacle in the process and need to revamp your strategy.

 The problem? Afghanistan has one of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world. Almost all Afghan women deliver their babies at home with traditional birth attendants (TBAs) who are not educated, lack knowledge about hygiene and other personal health issues and believe in myths and superstitions which perpetuate unhealthy choices and cost lives and suffering. In addition, there were very few trained Afghan female nurses, midwives or health educators. AIL’s ultimate goal was to reduce the maternal and infant mortality rate.

What did AIL decide to do? Beginning in 1996 in the Pakistan refugee camps, AIL operated health clinics for women and gave all patients health education.  AIL began training the traditional TBAs.   AIL also started training female high school graduates as health educators. But this was not enough. AIL then  developed a two-year, post-secondary course to train Afghan female high school graduates as nurses, midwives and health educators so that Afghan women would have highly trained females to go to for pre natal and post natal care and delivery. The course was excellent and graduates were immediately hired by the best refugee clinics and hospitals and women began going to have their babies delivered by the midwives and listen to their advice.  When the Taliban were defeated and refugees began returning to Afghanistan, AIL continued training TBAs in villages, and AIL also opened another nurse/health educator/midwife course in Kabul.  Again it was very successful.

 The obstacles? As the Afghan government began to organize its various ministries, the health ministry first decided that no TBAs should be trained anymore because they were not educated, so AIL had to stop training TBAs.  Next, the health ministry set up requirements for courses training midwives which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for facilities.  AIL didn’t have the funds and had to close the course in Afghanistan.

What was AIL now going to do to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates?  Precluded from training TBAs and graduating highly qualified midwives, AIL decided to focus on educating the mothers directly by giving them the information on hygiene and nutrition that they needed and encouraging them to deliver at clinics or hospitals or with trained midwives.  This had to be handled carefully as this is a highly personal issue for Afghans.  AIL began offering a half day Expectant Mother class for expectant mothers and one care-giver (mother, sister or TBA)           for women who came to AIL-operated clinics.  Because AIL was trusted, AIL was able to hold two classes.  The information was highly useful and the participants were also given reasons for why they should deliver at a health facility or with a trained person.  Word spread about the usefulness of the classes and AIL now has a waiting list for the classes.  What is most important are the results.  Since 2010, over 1500 women have attended Expectant Mother classes.  There have been no maternal deaths and only one still born and presently all women who attend the classes report that they have delivered in a clinic, hospital or with a trained midwife.  In addition, class participants report that they have told many more women about what they learned in the class. Achieving the goal is an ongoing process, but what was learned here is that AIL did not give up on their mission. AIL overcame the barriers placed before them by stepping back and altering their format in a way that was successful and achievable within the constraints placed upon them.

Thank you for your continued support.

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Organization Information

Afghan Institute of Learning

Location: Dearborn, Michigan - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AIL_ngo
Project Leader:
Sakena Yacoobi
Founder & CEO
Dearborn, Michigan United States
$146,718 raised of $200,000 goal
 
2,046 donations
$53,282 to go
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