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Afganistan

Polish Medical Mission and EMERGENCY help in Afghanistan

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When we announced the fundraiser for Afghanistan in August 2021, the situation was changing hour by hour as more humanitarian organizations were withdrawing their workers from the country taken over by the Taliban. We only knew that we wanted to help the people who suffered the most, so we got down to work and started checking all possibilities of reaching the victims.

Although the Polish Medical Mission was already present in Afghanistan, in the current political situation it was necessary to support a local partner who not only guarantees the effective use of financial aid, but also has staff present in the country. After verifying the needs, we decided to cooperate with the Italian organization EMERGENCY, which has been present in Afghanistan since 2001. Currently, it provides the operation of 3 hospitals, in Kabul, Anaba and Laszkargah, and 45 clinics throughout the country. Together, we chose a center that will receive financial aid from Poland.

A clinic for women in rural Afghanistan provides an ideal vantage point for understanding the role of women in the country. This is where Afghan women take their social role in a new and innovative way: the medical staff is made up of female employees, and their professional position ensures independence and raises their social status. At the same time, more women decide to give birth in a hospital, assisted by qualified midwives.

The humanitarian aid organizations on the ground need more support than at any time in the last decades. The dramatic economic situation and the freezing of funds transferred to aid, so far flowing in from countries all over the world, significantly limited the possibilities of effectively reaching the beneficiaries. Knowing the needs and functioning of the EMERGENCY organization, the Polish Medical Mission decided to establish cooperation and transfer the collected payments to ensure the continued operation of the hospital center in Anaba, located two hours from Kabul. The institution provides specialist help for women – it receives about 600 births per month and employs over 450 local medical workers. There are delivery rooms, a neonatal intensive care unit, operating rooms, a neonatology unit and an outpatient ultrasound unit. There is also a pediatric and surgical center right next to the women’s center.

Over the last two decades in Afghanistan, the situation of women who have managed to get education and help each other, strengthening their position in society has slowly and systematically improved. However, the events of last August and their aftermath brutally put an end to the changes. Caring for the health of pregnant women and women during childbirth remains one of the biggest challenges. Centers like Anaba guarantee safety and free care, so important in a country with one of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world.

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