The representation mission of Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) in Afghanistan is working on a project to establish and operate a primary health care center in District 3 of Kandahar Province.
At a total cost of $582,000 (around QR 2.1 million), the project is aimed at reducing the morbidity and mortality rates among the local population, particularly women and children, by allowing them more access to high-quality health services.
Other goals of the project are to improve the skills of medical and technical personnel, as well as creating obstetric emergency night shifts and referral system.
To that end, QRCS and its Afghan counterpart worked together on the project, which was initiated in 2018 and will last until July 2021.
Since the opening of the health center, it has served 45,182 patients, including mainly under-5 children, mothers, pregnant women, and women in the childbearing age. Also, there are 620 indirect beneficiaries, including the medical and nonmedical staff, suppliers, drivers, and other professionals engaged in the execution of the project.
First, the building was leased and renovated, and a workforce of 17 persons were hired (physicians, nurses, midwives, vaccinators, lab technician, pharmacist, sociopsychological advisor, administrative officer, supervisor, janitors, and security).
Then, QRCS secured all the furnishing and equipment required for the center. In relation to capacity-building, training courses were held on reporting, health management information systems (HMIS), Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), infection prevention and control, nutrition, and other health and technical topics.
Throughout the operation period, all the required medications and medical consumables are given to the patients free of charge, based on the lists of needs and the Afghan Ministry of Health’s (MOH) Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS).
A wide range of health services are available at the health center, such as maternal and child care (prenatal and postnatal services – vaccination for women and children), outpatient clinics (examinations – common diseases – malnutrition – psychological issues), basic lab diagnostic services, medications and consumables, emergency night shifts (especially maternity), and referrals to hospitals for advanced health care.
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, training and awareness sessions were held for all the staff on the risks of the virus, how it spreads, and how to prevent it. The necessary protective supplies were secured, such as masks, hand sanitizers, soap, etc.
This is a major humanitarian project, as it is the only health care center in such an overpopulated area, mostly poor. Thanks to the good and diverse services, the center is receiving more and more visitors, with a current average of 140 cases per day.
It has become a first choice of trust, reflecting the reputation of QRCS’s humanitarian interventions among the target communities, government organizations, and NGOs.