Learn how the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find Out

FEATURE STORY

Health Center Brings Vital Health Care to Isolated Villages of Bamyan Province

March 30, 2016

Image

Koprok Basic Health Center provides free basic health services. Patients with severe conditions are sent to the district hospital for comprehensive treatment.

Rumi Consultancy / World Bank

Story Highlights
  • A Basic Health Center (BHC) in a mountainous area in Bamyan Province is providing healthcare to villagers, bringing about significant improvements to their health.
  • The health center is supported by the System Enhancement for Health Action in Transition Program, implemented by the Ministry of Public Health.
  • The program receives support from the International Development Association, the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries, and the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund

YAKAWLANG DISTRICT, Bamyan Province – Farmer Mohammad Baqir Ali, 62, is having his blood pressure checked by a doctor at the Koprok Basic Health Center (BHC). He has a periodic cough and has come to the clinic to seek medical advice.

Koprok BHC provides basic health services to over 6,000 residents in 11 neighboring villages and is the only health facility in this mountainous area. It is located in Koprok village in Yakawlang district, 60 km away from Bamyan city, the provincial capital. The villagers are mostly farmers, cultivating crops on the slopes of the rain-fed mountains, with hardly a plain or arable land in sight in this difficult terrain.

Baqir Ali is thankful to have the health centre in the village: “Koprok BHC has helped us a lot. In the past when roads were closed during the winter and our access to Bamyan Provincial Hospital was blocked, many women from our village would lose their lives during labor. But this has changed and many of our health problems are treated here.”

The clinic’s services have brought about significant improvements in the health situation. Before its establishment, various illnesses remained untreated, children did not receive the requisite vaccinations, and the mortality rate among mothers and children was high. Villagers lacked basic health care awareness and did not know what to do in emergency situations.

Koprok BHC was established 11 years ago and has been receiving financial support from the System Enhancement for Health Action in Transition (SEHAT) Program, implemented by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), since January 2014. SEHAT project also supplies quality medicine to the health center, which is given free to patients. It also provides staff salaries and helps with capacity building programs as well as equipment repair. 


Image

Koprok Basic Health Care provides basic health services to over 6,000 residents in 11 neighboring villages.

Rumi Consultancy / World Bank

" Koprok Health Center has rescued the lives of so many villagers. Before this clinic was built, patients would die on the way to hospital during the winter season because of road blockage. "

Sayed Habibullah

Resident, Koprok village.

Image

Villagers now bring their under-five-year-old children for regular vaccinations. The health center has rescued the lives of so many villagers.

Rumi Consultancy / World Bank

Quick delivery of health services

The SEHAT Program receives support from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries, and the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF). It aims to expand the scope, quality, and coverage of health services provided to the population, particularly for the poor, across the country, and to enhance MoPH’s stewardship functions. The program supports the provision of a basic package of health services and an essential package of hospital services in both rural and urban areas.

The provision of basic health services is mainly outsourced to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which have shown to be effective in providing quality services and outreach. Bu Ali Rehabilitation and Aid Network (BARAN), an NGO, was contracted recently through competitive bidding by the MoPH to provide a basic package of health services in Yakawlang district. 

Hussain Ali Khalili, BARAN’s director, says: “The SEHAT Program has increased the efficiency and quick delivery of health services for communities across Bamyan Province. Previously, the residents faced numerous challenges in terms of access to health because of the tough terrain of the province.

“The fact that SEHAT has created a decentralized structure of supply and maintenance has solved so many problems. Previously, broken equipment would remain unrepaired for many months because of heavy bureaucracy. However, this problem has been solved by SEHAT.”

Awareness of health care

Koprok BHC provides free basic health services and patients with severe conditions are sent to the district hospital for comprehensive treatment. A medical doctor and four nurses and midwives provide vaccinations, obstetrics and gynecology, and emergency services. The BHC has a laboratory for the diagnosis of tuberculosis because of the high prevalence of the disease in Bamyan Province.

“Koprok Health Center has rescued the lives of so many villagers,” says Sayed Habibullah, 65, an elder from Koprok village. “Before this clinic was built, patients would die on the way to hospital during the winter season because of road blockage.”

Koprok BHC has 12 health outposts where 24 male and female volunteers work to raise villagers’ awareness of health care issues. As a result, villagers pay more attention to their health now. Women who previously delivered their babies at home are now visiting the clinic. Villagers now bring their under-five-year-old children for regular vaccinations.

Midwife Tahira, 33, has served as the head of Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at Kaprok BHC for three years. She says: “Since I am from Koprok, women trust me and visit the clinic regularly. This was rarely happening before I came to the clinic.”

Marzia, 24, a Koprok resident, is pregnant and visits the obstetrics and gynecology department for monthly examinations. “Women used to have many labor-related problems. When women or children were falling sick we had no idea what their illnesses were and how to treat them,” she says. “Now we come to the clinic and they treat our health problems.”


Api
Api