Zarpana, a midwife who assisted in 7,200 deliveries
Mrs. Zarpana, a senior midwife says she has assisted in delivery of 7,200 newly-born babies during her career spanning eight years. “Among this figure, I assisted in birth of 150 babies in home,” says Zar Panra adding she is proud of providing healthcare and maternity assistance services to mothers.
Zar Panra says she knows Dari, Pashto, Uzbaki and Russian, four languages. “We met Zar Panra in Hazrat Sultan Comprehensive Health Clinic (CHC) located on the highway towards Mazar-e-Sharif - outside of Aybak, the provincial Headquarters of Samangan province.
When we visited the Hazrat Sultan CHC, Zar Panra was attending a mother, who had brought his four month old son Abdul Basit. She weighed and measured the baby and informed the mother that her baby boy is seven Kilogram and 61 centimeters. "The baby is healthy. Don't worry about his health, just feed him with breast milk for two more months until he reaches the age of six months," she advised the mother.
According to Zar Panra, she worked in three health clinics. In Maqsood, a remote area of Samangan where she worked for eight years and assisted in birth of 6,000 babies, while in Zerakee, she remained for three months and for the past four months she is deputed to the Hazrat Sultan CHC. "In all these clinics, the delivery ratio was up to 100 a month. The Aid Medical International (AMI) and other organizations have also praised me for my services and awarded me appreciation letter," she informed.
Zar Panra is graduated from Community Midwifery Education (CME) School in Samangan in 2007. She is a mother of 10. She is in the clinic along with Miss Mazary, a midwife who graduated from SCA CME School two months back.
From 2009 till 2013, the SCA remains as implementer of Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS) in northern Samangan province, thus Zar Panra remained with SCA as a community midwife.
Since 2013, another organization is BPHS and EPHS implementer in the province, while SCA among a few other health related projects is training community midwives and community health nurses.
Two months back, as many as 21 midwives were graduated from the CME, and now the process of selection of candidates for the new batch of CME and CHNE is in progress.
Meanwhile, according to the Dr. Sharif Anwari, deputy project manager in Aybak, Samangan, 24 students will be trained as community midwives and the same number of females will be trained as community health nurses, in order to cover the lack of female health staff in the province.
Zar Panra serves in the delivery room and Mother and Child Health (MCH) ward duty rotationally. In MCH ward, she examines newly born babies by checking their weight and measures them and provides advice to mothers as well how to take care of their children.
"Beside my routine tasks as a midwife, I also provide them advices regarding family planning and settling family issues," according to her, due to poverty in the area, there are family disputes and lack of mutual understanding between a wife and husband. I gave them example of my own life-telling them that my husband was twice in age than me and he is unemployed, but I have a good family life.
Zar Panra says once she assisted a mother in delivering six newly born children, two of them died and the other four are alive. Now in this area, I examined a woman and she will deliver five babies. She is under my supervision and gets medical advises and visits me.
The situation of mothers and newly born child I mean the mortality ratio was more, but luckily now it's less. Before mothers preferred giving birth in homes, but now they got awareness and they visits health clinics.
She says that even a big number of midwives are trained in the CME School, but still there is need of more midwives in the community. According to Zar Panra a few days before she visited an area which was six hours in distance, where she assisted the woman in delivery. "The family preferred to take me there instead of bringing the woman to the clinic.
Contributed by: Muhammad Salahuddin
Senior Info Officer/Acting Info Coordinator
Swedish Committee for Afghanistan
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