Bayat Clinic is yet to be inaugurated in Gardiz
GARDIZ (PAN): Eight months ago, the Bayat Foundation completed construction on a 20-bed Mother and Child Health Clinic in Gardiz, the capital city of the southeastern province of Paktia. Yet today, that clinic remains unused, in spite of the dire health needs of local residents.
Paktia residents complained to Pajhwok Afghan News that women’s health issues and mortality rates are increasing day by day as the health directorate’s efforts to improve the situation creep along at a slow pace.
“Here everything is done just for show. If something is built, it is not put to public use,” said Mohammad Hasib, a resident of Gardiz.
Some residents say that the Bayat Foundation – the international non-governmental organization that built the structure – has broken their promised to pay the operational expenses of the new maternity clinic for six months.
But Abdul Rahim Danish, the information officer of Bayat Foundation, said Bayat is never responsible for operational costs. He said the organization only constructs buildings for government institutions and supplies them with modern equipment.
Other residents blame the Paktia Directorate of Health for the problem.
“The health director is either unable to put the clinic to use, or the money may have been channelled into his pockets,” speculated Hasib.
Ahmadullah Ahmadzai, a resident of the Teri area of Gardiz , said the people of Paktia are not satisfied with the performance of the health director.
“There are no doctors, no male or female nurses in the hospitals across the province. No medicine can be found here, even though the directorate has enough money,” Ahmadzai said. “This all is thanks to his weakness.”
The provincial health director, Mohammad Nader Noori, told Pajhwok it is USAID that created problems for the inauguration of the new clinic. He said USAID did not give them funding to open the clinic, even though he had asked for it time and again.
He said that the Ministry of Public Health also had communicated the requests of residents to USAID and its international partners.
When Pajhwok asked why the Paktia health directorate faced this problem if the Bayat Foundation was paying the expenses for the clinic’s first six months of operation, Noori said, “That was only a promise and is yet to be honored. [Bayat] has neither given us money, nor have they commented on the issue.”
According to Danish of the Bayat foundation, operational funding is the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Health, and Bayat has nothing to do with it.
The governor of Paktia province, Rohullah Samoon, told Pajhwok that they appreciate the support of Bayat Foundation, but they are concerned about the indifference of the health directorate in Paktia.
Samoon said the former governor of Paktia, Juma Khan Hamdar, had strictly advised the health director to take action on the clinic. Hamdar said he is unsure why those instructions had not been take seriously.
The 20-bed Mother and Child Clinic remains closed, while everyday more than 40 women line up outside Gardiz’s old 20-bed clinic, which has inadequate capacity and resources.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.