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2008 세계아동현황보고 - 오지 마을 어린이에게도 건강한 삶을 (아프가니스탄)

2008.01.22

* State of the World’s Children – Bringing healthcare to remote Afghanistan
* 03 min 16 secs
* 01 Aug 2007

Abdul Qayum Habibi and his wife Shafiqa Habibi are two of the many dedicated community health workers from the village of Cheke in Guazara district which is a two hour bus ride from Herat, the provincial capital, in western Afghanistan.

Community health workers, operating at the grass roots level, are chosen through the local shura, or committees, based on trust and capabilities. After being chosen by the village, Mr. and Mrs. Habibi had six months training where they learnt about first aid activities as well as how to work with families in raising awareness and how to make referrals to the nearest health centres.

Gozara hospital lies just outside Herat city. The focal point for the 214 community health workers in the 307 sub-districts is chief doctor Abdel Ahad.

SOUNDBITE (Pashto) Dr. Abdel Ahad, Sub-district Chief: “The advantage is that they’re citizens of the community, and they’re familiar with local health issues. They take the training we provide and put it into action in each village.”

Working as a couple has distinct advantages in a conservative society such as Afghanistan, where many women do not work or play only a small role outside the home…or none at all.

SOUNDBITE (Pashto) Abdul Qayum Habibi, Community Health Worker: “In this backwards society, women are not allowed to work. I’m happy that my wife is working side by side with me. Unmarried couples would not be allowed to work together. If she encounters problems, I can reach out and help her.”

SOUNDBITE (Pashto) Shafiqa Habibi, Community Health Worker: “Men and women are encouraging us to do this work; it’s a valuable way to contribute to the cause. It’s much easier in a society like Afghanistan for women to work with their own gender.”

The role of Community Health Workers is especially vital in a country where access to hospitals and health clinics is so restricted by insecurity, bad weather and inadequate roads.

SOUNDBITE (Pashto) Dr. Abdel Ahad, Sub-district Chief: “Community health workers are one of the most effective programmes in Afghanistan, but the challenge is that they are very poor and we cannot pay them – they’re volunteers. More support from the Government and NGO partners is needed.”

Community health workers also play a role during the national immunization days in Afghanistan. They assist visiting vaccinators to identify families who have children under the age of five. In addition they work closely with health centres especially when patients need more immediate treatments.

SOUNDBITE (Pashto) Abdul Qay

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