My husband works as a laborer in a construction company in Iran. He earns a daily wage of AFN 500 (Approx. 7 USD). I live alone with my two sons and one daughter in Afghanistan,

shared Asma sadly. The mother of two sons and a daughter, Asma lives with her children in Mashinna village, located in Qurghaie district of the Laghman province in Afghanistan. Her husband sends her money on a monthly basis but his low income is insufficient to bear all the household expenses. Asma has hardly been able to save money for health care emergencies of her own or her children and with no health facility nearby, travelling to distant hospitals has been out of the question.

When Asma was pregnant with her third child, her husband could not stay till her delivery and had to fly back to Iran for work. Being alone and economically bound, Asma would have had no one to assist her during the delivery of her third baby. Fortunately, a lady Community Health Worker (CHW) came to her when she was in her third trimester and informed her about the maternal and neonatal health assistance provided in the Nowdamorra Sub-Health Center (SHC) which is located near to their village.  The health worker thoroughly examined her and prescribed her multivitamins and micronutrient pills. Asma was told about the safe delivery services and antenatal and postnatal care provided at the health facility and was then registered as a patient in the sub-health centre. She was advised to visit the health center regularly for antenatal care.

As a patient registered with the SHC, Asma received regular and quality antenatal Care throughout her last trimester. She came to the SHC for regular checkups and was prescribed micronutrient medication. A midwife at the SHC conducted health and hygienic sessions for Asma and other expecting mothers from the village and shared a suggested diet chart with them, advising them to eat food that was healthy and nutritious for them and their babies. Thus, Asma was well-informed on the prevention of risk factors during pregnancy and delivery.

In July 2017, Asma delivered a healthy baby girl with the assistance of a skilled midwife and nurse at the Nowdamorra health centre. Asma regularly visits the SHC for postnatal care where she receives family planning and breastfeeding sessions. In addition, she was also given a diet chart to follow for a period of six months postpartum.

The staff at the health facility is very cooperative and facilitated me timely resulting in the safe delivery of my beautiful daughter.

*The Nowdamorra Sub-health centre is among six sub health centres established in four districts of Laghman province in Afghanistan by Community World Service Asia and financially supported by PWS & D.

Facilitator from Health Net-Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (HN-TPO) training Community Health Workers on Controlling Malaria.

Under its’ Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) project in Afghanistan, Community World Service Asia conducted Community-Based Health Care (CBHC) trainings in across six of its sub health centers in the Badiulabad, Salingar, Shamuram, Ghazi Abad, Nawdamorra, and Surkhakan villages of Laghman province.  The trainings took place between 15 November to 9 December, 2017 and were attended by 23 men and 23 women Community Health Workers (CHW) in the target areas.

The main objective of these trainings was to train CHWs to provide quality primary health care services that would lower mortality and morbidity rates in the catchment areas. This goal was divided into three main targets:

  1. To enhance the target community’s access to primary health care services
  2. To enhance mothers’ access to MNCH service es, such as safe deliveries
  3. To enhance the community’s knowledge about disease prevention

A Female Community Health (FCH) Supervisor and male nurse from each sub health center facilitated the training in their respective health facilities. They training focused on teaching staff about:

  • Common disease, definition, signs and symptoms
  • Causes of common diseases
  • Diagnosis and treatment of common diseases
  • Rational prescription

Additionally, the CBHC curriculum was shared with the participants which covered various health topics regarding preventive and curative care. Description, diagnosis, treatment and medicines for common diseases have been explained in the curriculum.  Moreover, it includes prescription of various medicines and their side effects.

Participants in the training were taught on how to conduct health education at community level. In order to improve their prescription writing skills, they were trained on dosage and side effects of each medicine. The training enabled the CHWs to prescribe medicines based on the CBHC curriculum discussed with them during the training sessions.

Since Laghman province is an endemic area for malaria prevalence, in the last week of the training, a two-day session on malaria was coordinated with Health Net-Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (HN-TPO) who have extensive experience on Community Based Management of Malaria (CBMM). The session enabled the CHWs to properly diagnose, treat and refer malaria cases. During the CBMM session, the health workers were coached and were given time to practice their skills during the sessions; this included collecting blood samples, making slides, testing strips, and prescribing medicines to patients. Specific guidance on the Rapid Diagnostic test and how to prescribe a malaria positive patient using the Arthesoinate Combine Therapy (ACT) was also given. These skills learnt at the trainings were essential for the community health workers in providing high quality health services to vulnerable communities as they visit house after house.

Last year after an unfortunate encounter in Pakistan, Jumadin, living a life of a refugee for 30 years, sold all his belongings and returned with his family to Afghanistan. Jumadin, a disabled man, begged for money on the streets and well-off neighborhoods of Peshawar in Pakistan as a means of earning for his family. One day, however, after collecting his daily money on the streets, he got into a dispute with the local authorities and was taken into custody.

Following the incident, Jumadin with his parents, wife and six children, fled Pakistan and crossed the border to settle back in his country. The family migrated to the village of Murkondy, Mehterlam in the Laghman Province of Afghanistan. They started living in an extremely old, terribly conditioned two-room house. Even back in Afghanistan, Jumadin continued to beg for money in order to support his family, and also asked wealthier families for charity in the form of food and clothes.

Six months ago however, Jumadin’s life took a positive turn as he was selected as a recipient of cash and food supplies under Community World Service Asia’s Emergency Response to Afghan Refugees and IDPs project. An elderly villager had submitted Jumadin’s name for selection under the project after which the project team surveyed the destitute family’s living conditions and needs. Looking at the results, they immediately selected him as a recipient. Consequently, Jumadin received cash amounting to AFN 13,000 (Approx. 189 USD) for two months.

Jumadin spent some of this money on purchasing basic food supplies for his family, and saved AFN 9,000 (Approx. 130 USD) to begin a small family-run business of his own so that he could provide a sustainable income for his family. Jumadin’s wife cooks salty peas every night, and his fourteen-year-old son then sells them in the village market the next day, generating about AFN 400 a day (Appox. 6 USD). Jumadin’s sixteen-year-old son now works as a conductor in a private car service, earning a a daily wage of AFN 300 (Appox. 5 USD). With these improving family income conditions, Jumadin no longer resorts to begging and instead stays home to support his family.

It was with the help of Community World Service Asia that we started the small business. As a result, I am now a happier person and no longer suffer from exhaustion, poverty, and poor living conditions,

shared a thankful Jumadin.

As he was sharing his story, Jumadin prayed for Community World Service Asia to continue this kind of assistance, for disabled people especially, so that they can live peaceful lives and support their families.

Since 2015, Community World Service Asia with the support of PWS&D, has been providing health services in four districts of Laghman province, Afghanistan. As part of this intervention, two sub-health clinics, one in Nawdamorra and one in Surkhakan, of district of Qurghaie, have also been set up.

Fahima, a mother of four, lives in Nawdamorra with her husband and children. Her youngest daughter is four years old, and the couple has chosen not to have any more children because of the financial strain it would put the already struggling family in. Fahima’s husband earns through daily labor work in Jalalabad city; so his income is unpredictable as it is dependent on finding work each day. Fahima engages in farming in a small plot of land. Currently, she has cultivated wheat and corn, and the amount of her work varies with different seasons. She does everything to harvest these crops on her little plot: irrigating, shoveling, and reaping. One day, Fahima was in the fields lifting heavy loads when she felt intense abdominal pains. She realized that she was pregnant, and the couple decided to abort the child as they could not financially afford to support another child.

However, life had something else in store for the family. A few months later, Fahima conceived again. In March this year, she found out about the local sub-health center in Nawdamorra, through another woman, from a nearby village she met. This woman told her that they were going to the sub-health center to receive treatment for general illnesses, vaccines, and to get medical support during pregnancies. This came as good news to Fahima and encouraged her to get a complete check-up and receive advice in relation to her health. Fahima decided to go to the health centre with these women.

At the sub-health center, Fahima shared her medical issues and her pregnancy history with the midwife. Based on Fahima’s information, the midwife recorded Fahima as an Anatenatal Care patient. Following Fahima’s trip to the sub-health center, the village lady health worker visited Fahima for a follow-up. Since then, the midwife from the sub-health centre, has also come to see Fahima thrice to guide her on taking care of her health and the baby’s. She received advice on taking a balanced diet, a session on health and hygiene and to avoid picking up heavy loads and overly exhausting herself. Fahima has been following all the advice that the midwife and the health worker gave her.

It is my hope to deliver my baby as safely as possible and to be a mother of a healthy baby. If I follow all the medical advice the midwife and the health worker have given me, then I believe that this hope will become a reality. I also appeal to Community World Service Asia to continue these services for destitute and needy people like us.

World Health Day provides an opportunity for the global community to come together to focus on interventions and actions that lead to improving human health. Every year an important issue is highlighted. This year WHO says “Depression: Let’s Talk”. Community World Service Asia has been working in Pakistan and Afghanistan’s health sector, providing assistance to the poor and marginalized since 1993. To bring healthcare to the poorest of the poor, Community World Service Asia has become an organization that empowers people and communities to eliminate injustices through integrated efforts in health, education and development. We have provided basic healthcare services that have directly facilitated 99,709 patients. Today in celebration of World Health Day 2017, we tell you a moving story of one of these patients and her recovery from a common, yet most under-estimated, mental illness- depression.

Abida, daughter of Gulajan, is a 35 years old widow from Shamoram village of Alishang district in Laghman Province.

“I am a widow and mother of five children. My eldest daughter is just 17 years old. My husband was a policeman and the sole bread earner for our family. He did not earn much but we were a happily bonded family.”

Abida gets upset even today as she mentions the ill-fated day that turned her blissful life around.

“I was baking bread when I heard a crowd of people moaning outside our house. Some men were carrying a chaarpaai (wooden bed) with a body lying on it draped in a white cloth. It was my husband, Shaihdullah! I fainted instantly when I saw him lying lifeless.”

Her husband died while he was at work where he was killed in a terrorist attack.

Abida now lives with her father-in-law who is an aged man and unable to support their family.

“I lost quite a lot that day; my husband, caregiver, father to my children, a supporting son of an elderly father and the only income bearer of the household.”

Abida’s father provided financial support for healthcare expenses and with purchasing clothes for her children occasionally.

“After my husband’s loss, I was terribly broken. I use to have body pains and felt weak most of the times. I used to spend hours thinking about the future of my children without the support of their father. I was unable to sleep as well which was deteriorating my health.”

Abida’s father-in-law had to take her to Gamba clinic which was at an hour’s distance from their hometown. This was time consuming and expensive.

“The doctors there prescribed painkillers but it was only giving me short term relief. I could not consume painkillers at all times as it was not curing my problem. I was trying very hard to adjust but every passing day was becoming difficult to survive for me.”

“One day, I was very depressed and could not stop crying. My brother then took me to the doctor. After explaining my condition to him, he prescribed some medicines for stress relief and advised me to visit him weekly. But due to financial constraints, I was unable to visit the doctor regularly as it was expensive and I had to travel a long distance for which I needed my father or brother to accompany me. I did not want to worry them again and again as they had their own responsibilities to handle.”

Abida then found out about the MNCH established by Community World Service Asia in Shamoram village. This was quite a relief for her.  She hesitated to discuss her issue when she initially visited the MNCH.

“The female staff at the MNCH was very friendly. Looking at my condition, the midwife knew something was wrong and that I was not telling the whole story.”

Abida shared her troubled story and the anxiety she was experiencing. She elaborated on how her bad health was effecting her children and family.

“The midwives listened to me patiently as I let my heart out to them. The doctor then prescribed stress relief medicines and advised to visit the MNCH on a weekly basis.”

Abida visited the doctor as prescribed as the MNCH was not far and easily accessible. She did not need her brother or father in law to accompany her to make these visits and regularly went on her own.

“The women staff at the MNCH provided good counselling. I continued my treatment for almost seven months on a regular basis as suggested. Now I can confidently say that I am a healthy mother taking care of my children and father-in-law. Bad times come and go; we have to stay strong for the people who are with us today.”

Since her treatment, Abida had visited the MNCH for health assistance for her children. Abida, along with many other community members of Laghman villages have benefitted from the services provided at the health centers established in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Rural communities residing in remote areas are vulnerable and unable to avail healthcare services easily. The establishment of the health centers in remote areas are providing basic healthcare facilities which have turned many lives around for the better.

Blood feuds handed down through generations are very common in parts of Afghanistan, and revenge is regarded as a necessary redress of the many wrongs of the past no matter what the present circumstances. Many are left to fend for themselves regardless of their role in such legendary feuds. Gullali, mother of five children, was a victim of one such incident that changed her life dramatically.

Living a happy and content life with her husband, an experienced mason, her four sons and a daughter in Pashaiee Village, Mehterlam, Gullali and her family were blessed with all the comforts of a basic life;  adequate food, healthcare, education, clothing and other household needs. A tragic turning point in the life of Gullali came when her husband was killed in October (2016) by an unknown assailant in front of their own home. Gullali was left alone and in a state of worry and fear for the lives of her children and herself.  She was therefore forced to leave everything behind and move to Samtado Village, Mehterlam, where her parents lived.

In Samtado, Gullali’s living conditions deteriorated from what they were at her lovely home. Gullali and her children temporarily lived within an old, mud built room at her parent’s house. She had very little family support as her parents did not earn very well and she was unable to bare the daily expenses of her five children. Some of their fellow villagers, helped Gullali on and off financially while most other time she earned a meagre income through cleaning the houses of their neighbours in the village.

The Directorate of Returnees and Refugees Office in Afghanistan knew of Gullali and her poor state of affairs through their assessments and introduced her to Community World Service Asia. As Community World Service Asia had recently launched a project with the support of Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and Church of Sweden (CoS), to respond to the needs of Afghan returnees and internally displaced people (IDPs), the team was happy to support her through the project.

The team assessed Gullali’s living conditions and was soon provided with assistance and support as she was going through a very hard time. Gullali was initially provided an emergency shelter (tent) for her children and her to live in safely as her temporary residence, due to its weak structure, could possibly collapse any day. Gullali was very pleased to move in the tent as she was also provided with additional facilities that would keep her children warm in the coming, freezing winter. The family was also able to access to the health facilities set up by Community World Service Asia for all returning refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in the emergency shelters. Gullali’s children are also attending school in makeshift schools near their present home and are living a comparatively comfortable life.

This project is successfully being implemented running in the Laghman and Nangarhar provinces of Afghanistan under which basic health facilities are also provided to families residing in the emergency shelters.

Zakira shares her artistic skills

“May I come to this room and learn what you are teaching?”

Eight-year-old Zakira became the youngest participant at a recent teachers’ training workshop held by Community World Service Asia at Qala-e-Shikhan Girls’ High School in the Laghman province of Afghanistan.

During the workshop, the facilitators introduced the teachers to the concept of nature and nurture by asking them to think about students that they liked and students whom they found difficult, and to explore the reasons behind their feelings.  Zakira shared that the classmate she most admired was a girl who always helped the other girls in the classroom.

The daughter of a mason, Zakira is the seventh of eleven siblings in a large family which struggles to make ends meet.  In spite of her difficult circumstances, Zakira inspired the team with her energy and interest in learning.

“I will become a teacher and teach children,” she shared.

Although she is not yet able to write, she participated in a poetry competition which was included in the workshop.  The team recorded her ideas and awarded her a runner-up prize for her imaginative verse.

“If I were a bird, I would fly, and when I got tired, I would sit on a tree with peace,” Zakira recited.

Community World Service Asia hopes to support Zakira to fly as she pursues her education, and looks forward to seeing where she lands.

DurationDec 08, 2015Feb 07, 2016
LocationAlingar, Mehtarlam, Alishang and Qarghaye districts of Laghman Province, Afghanistan
Key Activities
  • Distribution of Winterization Kits
  • Cash disbursement
Participants285 earthquake affected families

Intense Armed conflict between Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and Armed Opposition Groups (AOGs) has led to large-scale displacement in Kunduz, Takhar, Kunar, Sari-pul and Nangarhar provinces of Afghanistan. The currently affected areas were already hosting IDPs from other areas but with the recent crisis; those IDPs are displaced again and will also have to move along with the local people. The number of IDPs is increasing as the government of Afghanistan has also announced the continual of the military operation.

Based on UNHCR’s recent report, the conflict-induced internal displacement in the North, North East and Eastern regions of Afghanistan has increased in the last two months. As of UNOCHA’s recent report number approximately 10,000 families are displaced within the Northeast.

Present estimates suggest that by the end of the year, more than 48,500 families / 324,000 individuals may become displaced, which would make 2015 one of the worst years for conflict-induced displacement in Afghanistan since 2002. During the months June and July, 21 out of 34 Provinces in Afghanistan have been affected by forced movements of population due to conflict.

Kunduz Province: A rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation is reported in the city.  In May crisis in Khan Abad, Imam-shahib, Gultipa and some other parts of the province caused the displacement of thousands of families from Gultepa, Alchin, Telawka, Bozi Qandari, Hazrat Sultan, Qala-e-Zal, Dasht-e-Archi, Chardarah, Aliabad and other districts of Kuduz province. The families have been displaced to Kunduz Provincial Capital city and to some semi urban areas of the city.

As of the most recently, people started to flee from the city and most of the people moved to the villages in the adjacent districts of Aliabad, Chardarah, Emam saheb, Khanabad and some have moved south via Baghlan province to Kabul. Many families fleeing from Kunduz are moving towards Kabul. As per voice of America, 6,000 families have been displaced so far in Kunduz only. The recent clashes have also resulted in civilian casualties, people lost their crops which were ready to harvest and these fights have damaged their properties too.  Lack of relief services in Kunduz city is a major concern right now. WHO reported that emergency medical services and stocks of food are needed urgently. In Kunduz City water and electricity is cut off in many places.

Takhar Province: Intense clashes and quick shifting of territorial control between parties in conflict has provoked multiple displacements of people in Khuja Ghar District,  Baharak, Taloqan and Dashte-Qala districts of Takhar. A major conflict in the bordering districts of Kunduz and Takhar province has also caused displacement of population from Kunduz to Takhar. Sunatullah Taimour, spokesman of Takhar governor, told Pajhwok Afghan News that more than 6,000 families from Kunduz have moved to Taluqan, Baharak, Farkhar, Warsaj and Kalafgan districts.

In the areas of displacement, most of the families are living in crowded conditions and shared accommodations. They expressed the intention to return as soon as the situation improves. However, their houses and livelihoods have been totally destroyed. Shelter and food are needed for the displaced communities.

Nangarhar: Nangarhar province (especially Jalalabad city) has a large number of Afghan returnees from Pakistan. It also has a large population of conflict induced IDPs residing there from neighboring provinces like Laghman, Kunar, and Nuristan and also has a continuous influx of IDPs from remote districts particularly from Kot and Achin. Families are settling in Jalalabad, Behsud, Rodat and Shurkhrod districts, and also in the neighboring rural districts close to Achin. Nangarhar provincial capital is likely to remain the main receiver of displaced people from Laghman, Kunar and Nuristan provinces.

Response by Community World Service Asia: Community World Service Asia has been responding to the needs of IDPs in Kunduz Province providing monthly food package for two months with the support of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Direct contact with stakeholders in the affected areas, including local government, partners and those assisted during the recent response has been established. We are closely monitoring the situation and will plan a response based on the needs and gaps identified.

Allan A. Calma
Deputy Director
Disaster Management Program
Cell: +92 301 5801621

Muhammad Fazal
Associate Director
Emergencies/DRR/Climate Change
Cell: +92 332 5586134

Palwashay Arbab
Senior Communications Officer
Cell: +92 42 3586 5338

Voice of America
UNOCHA Afghanistan

DurationJan 01, 2015Jan 31, 2016
LocationNangarhar and Laghman provinces
Key Activities
  • Subject-specific training for teachers on Biology, Chemistry, General Science and Mathematics;
  • Training for teachers on pedagogical techniques, creating an engaging learning environment through participatory methods and low and no cost materials;
  • Mobilizing the community to promote support for girls’ education;
  • Training for community and religious leaders on child rights and gender issues;
  • Development of active Parent-Teacher Committees to build links between schools and communities;
  • Provision of school materials to students
Participants100 teachers
120 parents/community members
480 Parent-Teacher Committee members
1,000 female students

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