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FEATURE STORY May 30, 2018

Kabul Clinic Improves Health for Mothers, their Children, and the Community


Supported under SEHAT Program, the Hootkhail Health Center was established in 2016. The clinic offers a variety of health services for men and women, ranging from treatment of infectious diseases and mental health to family planning and treatment and prevention of malnutrition. 

Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank


  • Established in 2016, a comprehensive health center in Kabul city welcomes about 3,000 patients a month, some of them from other provinces.
  • The clinic has helped improve maternal and child health through awareness sessions about vital health issues such as family planning.
  • The clinic provides medical services and awareness sessions under SEHAT Program.

KABUL CITY – . Inside the compound, another two dozen women, some with their children, sit on benches waiting to see a doctor. More women fill the clinic’s corridor, where a female health professional is giving a family planning lecture.

,” says 40-year-old Feroza, a mother of nine children. “I used to go to Malalai Maternity Hospital, which was a long distance from my home, but with the establishment of this clinic, I can easily get quality health services.”

. Sessions to raise community awareness and to provide information on topics such as maternal and child health are another vital aspect of the clinic’s services.

Dr. Farid Ahmad Karimi, head of the clinic, points out that the clinic has made a significant contribution to the community in terms of health services. “,” he says, “ in this community with a population as large as 60,000.”

Dr. Karimi says the community has a particularly high demand for vaccination, maternal health, family planning, and nutrition services.

The clinic was set up to deliver a Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS) under the System Enhancement for Health Action in Transition (SEHAT) Program, implemented by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).  SEHAT aims to expand the scope, quality, and coverage of health services provided to the population, particularly vulnerable groups. It is supported by the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries, and the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), in partnership with multiple donors.

"I am so glad we have a clinic in our own neighborhood. I can easily get quality health services."
patient, Hootkhail Comprehensive Health Center

High Quality Medication

(OPD). “This is of great importance as most of the patients are not able to purchase medicines because of the poverty rate in the community,” says Dr. Karimi.

Basmina, 30, a housewife and mother of nine, is one of the patients who receives her medicines regularly from Hootkhail Health Centre. She travels from the eastern province of Laghman, some 150 kilometers from Kabul city, to obtain the medicines as an OPD patient. Her husband, a disabled beggar, manages only enough for his family’s day to day food expenses.

. That is why I travel all the way to this clinic to receive quality medicines,” says Basmina. “My leg is getting better with this medicine. I feel much better now.”

Mazari Ahmadi, 40, a police officer and mother of six, is another patient who pays routine visits to the clinic. “. ,” she says. 


SEHAT program aims to expand the scope, quality, and coverage of health services provided to the population, particularly vulnerable groups across Afghanistan. 

Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank

Health Awareness Sessions Pay Off

. Family planning sessions aimed at improving maternal health are particularly important. Low awareness of alternatives contributes to frequent childbirth and short gaps between conceptions, both major health challenges for women.

. I don’t want to have more children. My oldest child is 13 and youngest is 3 years old,” says Feroza, 40, a mother of seven, whose husband is an electrician. “,” she explains.

Noori Ali, head nurse at the clinic, says, “. But now they are very happy about the fact that they can have longer gaps between pregnancies, which eventually leads to them staying healthy.”