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Ghor women demand maternity health facilities in all districts

Ghor women demand maternity health facilities in all districts

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18 Dec 2022 - 17:50
Ghor women demand maternity health facilities in all districts
author avatar
18 Dec 2022 - 17:50

FEROZKOH CITY (Pajhwok): A number of women in western Ghor province have welcomed the establishment of UNFPA-funded health facilities in some remote parts, but they demand well-equipped maternity health clinics be established in all districts of the province.

Recently, United Nations’ Population Fund (UNFPA) has funded the creation of 25 Aschiana health centers in remote areas of Ghor province.

Non-profit national organization Agency for Humanitarian and Development Assistance for Afghanistan (AHDAA) in coordination with the Public Health Ministry and UNFPA financial help recently set up 25 health centers in nine remote districts of Ghor province.

Every health center has one nurse who provides maternity health services.

Malika, 27, a mother of two children, appreciated the creation of Aschina health centers and said the residents previously suffered a lot due to lack of health facilities during the past two decades.

She said local residents had to seek health services either in the provincial capital or in neighboring Herat province.

“I’ve given birth to my both children under the supervision of a local wet nurse, one time I was forced to travel to the provincial capital because of losing a lot of blood during birth”, Malika said.

“After the birth of my second child, I was in terrible health condition due to blood loss, there was no doctress to help me, so I took a risky trip to the provincial hospital,” Malika added.

“Not only me, but many other women had experienced this type of risky childbirth in the absence of female health facilitators, such births even conclude in the death of mothers or infants,” she added.

Malika said: “When there are no female doctor, nurse or maternity clinic in the village, the women do not visit male doctors for their health issues, while women of remote areas cannot reach hospital for the birth of their children, which causes the death of mother or her child”.

Nooria, 31, a mother from Pasaband district, said she had witnessed many mothers or their babies dying due to the lack of access to health services in remote areas.

She told the story of one of her neighbors who was evacuated to Ferozkoh city, but she died on the way due to severe blood loss.

Both Nooria and Malika demanded establishment of well-equipped hospitals and clinics that provide maternity health services in districts.

Nooria appreciated the creation of Aschiana health centers and added such centers could save lives.

Anjeela Sharifi, a civil society activist and women rights defender in Ghor province, also appreciated the creation of health centers but said fewer women in remote areas had access to health facilities — a reason behind the high mother-child mortality rates.

Sharifi hoped more such health centers would be established and people would have access to health services in all remote areas of the country.

She urged the government and other relevant international organizations to establish health clinics in remote areas and appoint professional nurses to provide better health services to women.

Doctor Seddiqullah Hasanzai, AHDAA provincial office head in Ghor province, said: “By creating Aschiana health centers, we want to expand the access of all of women to better health services and safe births”.

During winter season, roads usually get blocked because of heavy snowfall, he said.

“These clinics can provide better health services to women and their children during snowfall and winter season, when the residents cannot access other hospitals,” Hasanzai said.

These health centers are created with financial assistance of UNFPA, he added.

Dr. Abdul Sattar Muwafiq, the provincial Public Health Department head, said: “When roads get blocked due to snowing, it becomes impossible to travel from one place to another and creation of such health clinics has many benefits for local residents”.

He urged relevant institutions to create more such health clinics in the province.

aw/ma

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