After long-lasting tensions within the country created mass migrations, Kabul now has 3.5 million inhabitants and is one of the regions with the most rapidly growing populations on earth. This has led to a lack of appropriate infrastructures, especially for transportation and medical services. This increases the logistical crisis those who seek access to health care services face.
Since 2002, important progress has been made towards rebuilding an accessible health system, and there has been significant improvement in health indicators. However, the populations of many areas still face great challenges in health care access. In collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), our projects are conceived to answer the communities’ needs. This project was launched in 2013 in a district in the north of Kabul. Following discussions between AfD and community elders of the Qasaba district, this area, known as a medical desert, was chosen to implement a Comprehensive Health Center (CHC). The CHC’s objective is to allow neighbouring populations to benefit from efficient, versatile health care services near home.
In Afghanistan’s national health system CHCs represent one of the highest health facilities available at the district level, with only the District Hospitals above them. On the one hand, they complement the work of the District Hospital, and on the other hand, they are often the only health care structure available to the population of an area. They are usually designed to accommodate 30,000 to 60,000 community members.
AfD, in partnership with community leaders and donors such as the Ferdows Foundation, contributed to the development, procurement and operations of the new CHC. Our facilities can accommodate many recovering patients and can perform controls, deliveries, vaccinations, basic medical treatments and more.
Management adapted to all for better accessibility
The specificity of our CHC is that it is open longer hours than other health centres in the region and is equipped to offer high quality medical care. This increases the possibility for the population of northern Kabul to access healthcare, and widens the scope of medical issues that are treated. Since its inauguration in 2013, the number of patients treated has increased constantly. Community members are aware of the CHC and of the high quality treatment it offers patients. The center plays an important part in achieving our main goal, reducing maternal and infant mortality.
Work at the CHC creates a link between the poor rural regions, urban regions and the centre. The training provided by AfD at the CHC is innovative, integrating theoretical and practical training. Community workers receive theoretical training to be able to recognize dangerous illnesses, and also receive practical training in basic healthcare.
The CHC welcomes over 1000 patients per month on average. Its opening hours are from 8am to 8pm, unlike most other healthcare facilities of the area that close at 2pm. Women and children under the age of 5 are the main groups of patients. Consultation and diagnosis fees and provision of essential medicine are offered for 1$ per patient. Moreover, the CHC has a program that offers free services to very poor patients. Patients would be charged approximately 40$ for the same services in the private sector.