Recently, AIL was asked by the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs to report on the impact AIL’s programs have had. We were amazed by our findings. Since beginning in 1996 through May 2009, 220,970 Afghans have been educated and received skills training in AIL schools, centers and post-secondary programs. 27, 619 Afghans (more than 70% female) have received teacher training or capacity-building training. AIL has supported 13 clinics serving 998,088 patients and providing health education to 1,520,374 women and children. Overall 6,778,026 Afghan lives have been directly impacted by AIL programs.
During 2008 AIL’s four clinics treated a total of 147,889 patients and provided health education to 84,614 Afghans. In addition, the Community Health Worker program in Herat reached out to 76,345 families.
In June 2009, AIL opened a new clinic to treat patients in Kabul Province. During the first 6 months of 2009, these five clinics have treated 97,816 patients (an increase of 34,470 patients from this time last year) and have provided health education to 45,406 Afghans. The Community Health Worker program has reached out to 33,906 families so far this year.
In addition to AIL’s usual health activities AIL is holding a nine month training in health for 215 teachers from Herat area schools. After being trained, the teachers are returning to their schools to teach students about health and train other teachers in their school to teach health to their students. Topics for the workshops include basic health care, personal sanitation, infectious diseases, first aid, how to tell when a student is sick and many others. Here is what a few of the teachers had to say about the new School Health Program after their first workshop:
“The workshop was excellent because I learned about many personal and social issues and I can convey this information to my students. The trainers implemented student-centered methods and they let all of the participants take part in the discussions. They were kind and respected all of the ideas they heard. The atmosphere in the workshop was so friendly that everyone felt comfortable and could learn easily. The most interesting subject for me was health education and private sanitation. The day after learning about these things I went back to my school and taught all of my students to have their own hanky, soap and glass for water. I also taught them that they must not use things from others to prevent the spread of infectious disease.”
“The teaching methods were excellent and we received a lot of information about school health. The trainer’s behavior was so kind, and the most interesting subject for me was infectious disease. I learned to prevent the spread of infectious disease, which I think is very important for school teachers. I am so happy to have had the chance to attend this workshop. I can teach all of these topics to my students to increase their awareness.”
“I thought all of these subjects were interesting and useful because they have a direct effect on our daily life. Every day we face these issues in the school, and outside them too. The problems that students in my school are facing are diarrhea, typhoid, dysentery and eye problems. The day that we studied cholera and diarrhea in the workshop, I involved myself in the discussion. The trainers told me to make sure that I help students with diarrhea is by making sure they are getting liquids, use medicine and pay attention to personal and environmental sanitation. I did as our trainers said, and it helped my students. It was a very useful workshop. I hope all the issues which we studied can be implemented in all schools and help us to have healthier students. Being healthy will help them to learn their lessons better because as our trainers said, a sound mind is in a sound body.”