Afghanistan: Our Impact

 {Photo credit: MSH}Before the historic approval this September, stateholders met to dicuss the draft national strategic framework for pharmaceutical human resources.Photo credit: MSH

The Executive Board of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) formally approved the country’s first national strategic framework for pharmaceutical human resources (HR) on September 28, 2013. The framework helps strengthen the pharmaceutical system and health workforce.

Afghanistan is one of 22 countries that have been designated as having a high burden of tuberculosis (TB). Each year, roughly 11,000 Afghans die from TB--many of these deaths occur in rural regions where residents have limited access to TB screening and treatment.

The Management Sciences for Health (MSH) global team of over 2,300 people from more than 70 nations is commemorating World AIDS Day 2012 in over 30 country offices around the world, including Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Africa, Uganda, Haiti, and the United States.On World AIDS Day, MSH Nigeria, in collaboration with the Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership, Chevron, and Access Bank Plc, will be hosting a launch of the award-winning film titled “INSIDE STORY: The Science of HIV/AIDS” in Lagos, Nigeria.

Dr. Stanekzai, Afghanistan.Dr. Stanekzai, Afghanistan.

The 2010 Afghanistan Mortality Survey (AMS 2010) is Afghanistan's first comprehensive mortality survey. Implemented by the Afghan Public Health Institute (APHI), the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), and the Central Statistics Organization (CSO), the national survey represents over 22,000 households, covering 87 percent of the total Afghan population. In addition to data on mortality and cause of death for mothers, children, and all adults, the survey includes data on fertility, family planning, and on the utilization of maternal and child health services.

With support from USAID, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is helping Afghans rebuild their pharmaceutical sector for lasting health impact. The Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) Afghanistan Associate Award Program, led by MSH and funded by USAID, bolsters Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and its agencies through functional analysis, technical assistance, capacity assessment, and capacity building. Clarifying Roles and Responsibility

A midwife in Wardak province takes the blood pressure of her patient. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

Midwives can decrease the risk of mother or infant dying during childbirth. For many expectant mothers in Afghanistan, especially those in rural provinces such as Maidan Wardak, a midwife is the only health care provider they may ever know, since traditional beliefs prevent women from being treated by male doctors. For three years, the thousands of women in Maidan Wardak province’s mountainous communities essentially had no access to health care, because there were no midwives in the province’s nine different health facilities. Maternal and infant deaths were common.

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) announced a five-year, $200 million commitment to improve health systems and family planning services in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Haiti as part of the Every Woman, Every Child campaign of the United Nations (UN).

Afghanistan Tech-Serve ProjectAfghanistan Tech-Serve Project

Improving the health of women requires addressing the gender inequities and barriers that keep them from accessing health services. This is particularly true in Afghanistan. Despite having one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, women are not encouraged by their families or by society to deliver their babies in health facilities with skilled attendants.

The MSH-led, USAID-funded, BASICS project in Afghanistan, which will end on September 30, has worked closely with the Afghan Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) to build policies and initiate interventions for child survival. The project’s biggest success, however, has been handing over all of its activities to the MOPH’s Child and Adolescent Health Department. BASICS Afghanistan has worked itself out of a job. BASICS Afghanistan began working with the MOPH in early 2008 to evaluate gaps in child health care in the Afghan system.

Afghanistan. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

In a country the size of Texas with 80 percent of its 25 million people living in underdeveloped rural areas, immunizing every child against common illnesses is no small challenge. BASICS Afghanistan, funded by USAID and led by MSH, is working with the Afghan Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and UNICEF to improve low vaccination rates in Afghanistan by engaging communities in identifying their local needs and tailoring vaccination campaigns accordingly.