Thank you for your support of AIL’s project. While the situation in Afghanistan continues to prove challenging, with your help AIL is finding ways to continue bringing high quality health care and education to the women of Afghanistan.
One of AIL’s major focuses has been improving the health of women by providing them with high quality health education. AIL’s Executive Director, Dr. Sakena Yacoobi truly believes that the way to a healthier Afghanistan is by education it’s people in how to care for themselves. AIL has seen that when you provide health education to women, the health of the entire family improves as they share this knowledge with their family members.
In July and August AIL offered 7 Reproductive Health workshops in both Kabul and Herat to a total of 224 women and girls. These five-day workshops cover topics such as delivering a baby, problems that can occur during pregnancy, pre- and post-natal care, how to care for a new baby, breastfeeding, vaccinations, nutrition, family planning, poisoning and basic health care. The women who leave these clinics are better equipped to make health decisions which will benefit both them and their families.
In addition the Reproductive Health workshops, AIL’s office in Herat offered 4 workshops for 90 Expectant Mothers and their birth helpers. These intensive one day workshops focus on preparing the mother to give birth safely. Topics covered include the problems that can occur during pregnancy, caring for yourself before becoming pregnant, caring for yourself while pregnant, caring for yourself after delivery and the advantages of breastfeeding. One of the greatest outcomes of these workshops has been a giant decrease in the maternal and infant mortality rates of participants. There program been attended by 633 pregnant women and helpers and there has only been one death, a stillborn baby. Additionally, all but six of the pregnant women have chosen to have their babies in a clinic or hospital, a truly phenomenal statistic in Afghanistan where most women give birth at home far from any medical help.
Not only do these workshops benefit the women in attendance, they also benefit those women’s families as the following story from a participant shows.
I know a woman who has four children. One of her children was a baby girl, and during the pregnancy for this little girl the mother could not get to a doctor. The little girl’s hand was coiled in the umbilical cord which resulted in the girl being disabled. This upset the girl’s family since the girl would always face problems, and the family considered killing the child. A midwife suggested that they take the child to a doctor in Kabul for treatment. After treatment, the child is now a healthy three year old. If this mother had known what I now know, her family may have been spared some of it’s heartache. I now know about the risks of pregnancy, how to take care of myself, and how others should provide care for me. I will be sure to share this information on how to care for yourself with others.
Don’t forget! The holidays are a great time to share your passion for AIL and the great work that they do! GlobalGiving offers gift certificates which can be used to donate to AIL’s projects. Also, beginning December 1st, the initial donation made by recurring donors will be matched 100% by GlobalGiving. There is only $25,000 available in matching funds, so help AIL take advantage of this opportunity early!