Afghan Health & Development Services
A non-profit,  501(C)(3), tax exempt, established in 1990.

for a healthy society


Healthcare

programs contribute to the following SDGs

 

Health situation in Afghanistan

Afghanistan developed packages of basic services (BPHS and EPHS) to ensure a rapid expansion of basic healthcare services to the under-served and badly affected population across the country at the health facility and community levels. The development and use of these packages were effective first steps in standardizing and harmonizing service delivery in the Afghanistan public health sector. In addition, the ministry of public health (MoPH) introduced a contracting modality so that NGOs, which were providing most of the healthcare services at the time, would be commissioned by the MoPH to provide the BPHS and EPHS across the country.

A network of facilities provides services at different levels of the healthcare system: health posts (HP), mobile clinics, sub-health centers (SHC), basic health centers (BHC), comprehensive health centers (CHC), district hospitals (DH) and provincial hospitals (PH).

Afghanistan: Health Indicators, 2011‒2015

MMR

396/100,000

IMR

66/1,000

Under-5 mortality rate

84/1,000

Pregnant women w/skilled antenatal care (1 visit)

51%

Births w/skilled attendant

40%

Breast feeding at age 2

54%

Couples using modern FP method

21%

Total fertility rate

5.1

Source: “World Bank Database.” http://data.worldbank.org/country/afghanistan.


As a result, Afghans’ health status has improved substantially since the rebuilding began. The infant mortality ratio (IMR) has declined from 165 in 2003 to 66 deaths per 1,000 live births today; during the same period, under-five mortality has dropped from 257 to 84 per 1,000 live births. The decline in MMR also has been dramatic, falling from
1,600 to 396 per 100,000 live births; in addition, skilled birth attendance has increased from 14 percent in 2003 to more than 40 percent today. Thanks to these gains, life expectancy at birth has increased to 59 years for men and 61 years for women.

According to the Afghanistan Mortality Survey (AMS) 2010, three in 10 deaths in Afghanistan are due to communicable diseases and infections. Among all communicable diseases, malaria, tuberculosis (TB), and HIV are of high priority. Just over half (54.1%) of all deaths in the country were due to NCDs and injuries. Cardiovascular diseases were most prevalent among the NCD group, causing more than 50 percent of deaths in the population over 15 years of age.

The 2013 National Nutrition Survey (NNS) indicated that the malnutrition rate in Afghanistan is still among the highest in the world. The same survey indicated that the prevalence of stunting in children under 5 years of age apparently has decreased by about 20 percent, from 60.5 percent in 2004 to 40.9 percent in 2013.

Living Condition Survey (ALCS) 2013, access of the general population to improved drinking water sources was limited to 64.8 percent, whereas only 39.0 percent of the population used an improved sanitation facility.

According to the National Immunization Coverage Survey (NICS) 2013, 18.3 percent of children and 19.5 percent of women have never received any immunization; national coverage rates of tuberculosis vaccine (BCG) and Penta 3 at the age of 23 months were 77.9 percent and 58.8 percent, respectively.

A substantial part of the population (perhaps in excess of 50%) has less-than-optimal access to basic health services (within one hour’s walking distance of a health facility), and 37 percent lives within two hours. Approximately 18 percent of the population lives in very remote areas, with a walk of more than two hours to the nearest BPHS facility (NRVA 2012). 

AHDS Healthcare services

AHDS entered the health sector when  all other sectors including the health system were almost totally distroyed in the country (1990). Provision of healthcare services in conflict and fragile areas is the main expertise of AHDS. We have not only continued, but expanded our services for the communities direly in need. Review of the success indicators shows that our health projects achieved most of the set targets for quantity and quality of the services.

AHDS has served millions of people, by tireless efforts of the staff and vigorous help of the supporters. Through continuous support from our donors and technical support of partners, local authorities, and the community leaders, AHDS has been able to take firm strides in the areas of health and education development and services in Afghanistan. AHDS understands that Afghanistan has unique challenges and difficulties that require innovation and out of the box thinking.  

Activities of AHDS are well coordinated with national and local government authorities, community elders, and other stakeholders.  Throughout the years, AHDS has had continuous presence and active participation in the task forces and workshops lead by the local and international agencies related to capacity building, providing health services and improving quality and accessibility.

The secret of our success is related to our ability to reach peoples, gain their support and corporations and involve them in our efforts.  Without critical support and collaboration from these communities, AHDS’ success would not be possible.  Our experiences are indicative that by directly engaging and involving communities in our efforts and making them aware of their rights and responsibilities, we can ensure sustainable development.

We feel that sustainable development is possible only through persistence and continued perseverance in the face of difficulties. The national NGOs, more importantly the communities, have to take personal ownership and responsibility to see our country through this difficult yet promising time.   

A major part of our success is due to the acceptance we have gained from the local communities and the cooperation they continue to provide. Without the critical support and collaboration of these communities AHDS’ success would not be possible. It is this idea that transcends the financial assistance coming from the international community, and stresses the importance of communities assuming the kind of practical, on-the-ground responsibility for the continuing improved health of this and future generations. Without a sense of personal responsibility in the local communities to complement the broader social responsibility of the international community, the sustainability of reconstruction efforts such as ours will be at great risk. There is no doubt that Afghanistan is not ready to be free of international assistance.  But without local Afghans accepting personal responsibility for the on-going health of the members in their community, it will be impossible for the country to prosper.

AHDS has provided healthcare services under any political and security circumstances.  AHDS gained the art and science of how to work in difficult area in terms of geographical, traditionally conservativeness and most insecure by insurgencies. Insurgency does not only cause security risk, but simultaneously deteriorate availability of qualified staff, proper living conditions and attractiveness for professional staff from other places; while traditional conservativeness adds on that challenges.

AHDS started its work by establishing training center for community health worker (CHW), construction of destroyed health facilities and provision of primary health care (PHC) through  comprehensive and basic health centers (CHC and BHC) in rurla areas.  The undertaking of  health infrastructure rehabilitaion was indeed an enormous task that required day and night work, facing all odds and challenges.  In order to rehabilitate the primary health care system, we established health facilities one by one, trained the health staff, introdued voluntarism, attracted donors and at last expanded the program all over the province. 

AHDS had to compete with the harsh times of lack of professional staff, economic sanctions, drought, security threats, martydam of a number of health staff, kidnaps and robberies on top of the cultural barriers prevailed in the target areas.

AHDS has increased access to healthcare services, improved the quality of services in the health facilities and strengthened community involvement and ownership of health services in the target provinces.  Available service utilization and quality of healthcare depend on improving health seeking behavior and healthy practices by the population, especially women.

AHDS is proud of its trust built among the communities, recognition by the provincial and local authorities, respectful relations with all the stakeholders, and smooth and transparent hand over of the BPHS project to its successors (provincial health directorate or NGO). 

AHDS was one of the pioneers for Basic package of health services (BPHS) and Essential package of hospital services (EPHS) in the country. Furthermore, the health services are provided through establishing birth centers, mobile health teams (MHT), first aid trauma points (FATP) and partnership with the private health service providers (PHP).

Healthcare services has been complemented with health related projects like school health and nutrition education, community based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM), water and sanitation and hygiene education projects.

 

News & Events

Security incidents have directly harmed NGOs. We call upon  all  parties  to  the  Afghan  conflict  to  end  all  forms  of  violence  against Humanitarian Actors – including NGOs and their employees  click here 

Open letter to Members of the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals: Effective targets to promote sustainable peace click here 

Protecting health-care facilities during the 2014 electoral process (by ACBAR Members) click here

Open letter: Effective targets to promote Sustainable Peace click -here  

AHDS developed its five years Strategic Plan (2014-2018), Click here for the summary. 

AHDS received an award from Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health and AMNEAB for the Best Midwifery Education in Kandahar and Urozgan provinces (photos).

Afghanistan's Ministry of Economics recognizes Afghan Health and Development Services (AHDS).   Click here to view certificate of recognition.

Click here to review AHDS' Form 990 (for 2016) 

 

 

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