Enhancing capacity of health workers to promote quality healthcare in Afghanistan

Enhancing capacity of health workers to promote quality healthcare in Afghanistan

The health team was trained on new treatments to combat to malaria.

To ensure that the most deprived and vulnerable communities in the region receive the best kind of support, it is vital that the staff involved in humanitarian and development initiatives is well-trained. Community World Service Asia strongly believes and advocates for this and continues to provide and organize capacity strengthening and enhancement trainings for its staff and partners. As part of this resolve, we recently conducted two refresher trainings for our staff implementing our health project, financially supported by PWS&D[1] in Afghanistan.

The trainings were facilitated by the Laghman Provincial EPI[2] Management Team (PEMT) staff, Regional EPI team and EPI supervisor of Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA).The first training was a six day course (from June 23rd – 28th) on Immunization programs which was participated by six Female Community Health Supervisors (FCHS), responsible for vaccination in the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health centers (MNCH) set up under the project. The aim of the training was to update the vaccinators on changes introduced in EPI guidelines and strategy on vaccines.

EPI is one of the core elements of a Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS) and is considered a priority activity that must be provided by all health facilities, of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in Afghanistan. The six FCHSs were trained on providing vaccinations on ten preventable diseases, including Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tuberculosis, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, Hepatitis, Pneumonia, Flue and Diarrhea. The benefits, side-effects, dosages and schedule of administration of vaccination were defined and explained. During the training, the participants were thoroughly briefed on the EPI strategy and objectives and the various Health Management Information System (HMIS) tools. The health workers’ skills on providing new vaccines, its policies, and on the cold chain system and its reporting were further enhanced through this training.

Khatima, a FCHS at the Aziz Khan Camp health facility quoted,

We learnt about new available vaccines including the Rota virus and pneumonia vaccines. Our skills on giving vaccinations were improved and our knowledge on new changes made in the MoPH policy was developed.

The second training, held from June 26 to 28, 2018, focused primarily on malaria. The training refreshed the health team’s expertise and knowledge on the new treatment protocols and case management of malaria patients. Malaria is an endemic disease in Afghanistan which is more common in eastern provinces of Afghanistan. It is highly prevalent in Laghman province. In 2017, there was an outbreak of Plasmodium Falciparum (PF) and Plasmodium Vivax (PV) cases in catchment areas of PSMNCH health facilities. It was one of the top ten diseases reported by PSMNCH health facilities that required more focus on preventive measures. Based on the high prevalence of the disease there was a dire need to further strengthen the health staff’s capacities on its case management. The participants enhanced their skills on new treatments and case management of malaria, its diagnosis and its reporting.

The training was very useful and we learned how to diagnose and treat different cases of malaria. The new changes made in MoPH, regarding the treatment protocol, was informative and important for us to help perform better at our jobs. We have come to know new techniques on how to treat PF and we will continue to treat Malaria more effectively through the new learning we  have received at this training,

 shared Sami Ullah, Nurse at the Ghaziaba health facility.

Khushal, PEMT supervisor of Laghman, added,

The health staff is hard-working and wants to provide good quality health services to the people of Afghanistan. The training has helped cover the gaps identified in the last supervision visit conducted by the PEMT staff. Participants of the training have built a good understanding on new MoPH policies on vaccination and new treatments to combat malaria.

[1] Partnership for Strengthening Mother, Newborn and Child Health project (PSMNCH) is implemented in Afghanistan by Community World Service Asia, with the support of Presbyterian World Service & Development (PWS&D)

[2] Expanded Program of Immunization