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Women in remote Baghlan areas sans basic health services

Women in remote Baghlan areas sans basic health services

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Apr 04, 2019 - 18:40

PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): Womeninfo-icon in remote parts of northern Baghlan province lack access to even basic healthinfo-icon services due to the absence of female health professionals and healthcare centers, rights activists say.

Women’s rights institutes, activists and residents of rural areas of Baghlan province say thousands of women in the province continue to lack access to primary health services.

They criticize the Public Health Ministry for not conducting awareness programs and providing health facilities to people in remote parts of the province.

Razia Noori, Baghlan Human Rights Commission director, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the lack of healthcare centers in remote areas of the province remained a great challenge for women.

“There are almost zero healthcare facilities in remote areas of Baghlan which puts the health of thousands of women at risk during child delivery or other health problems,” she said.

Noori said 45 percent of women lost their lives in delivery due to absence of health facilities in their areas.

On the other hand, she said, “Hundreds of women are addicted to drugs in Baghlan but there is no special rehabilitation center for them and as a result, the number of addicted women is increasing.”

Zuhal Saifi, a resident of Khost district of Baghlan, said there were only two female maternity professionals on the provincial level performing duty in Pul-i-Khumri, the provincial capital.

“There is no female doctor in Khost district, it is a great problem for local people,” she said. Saifi said many women had lost their lives during child birth in the district.

Nadera, a resident of Nahrain district, said women in their area should be shown mercy. “The maternity section at the Pul-i-Khumri Civil Hospital is a small room where four women are simultaneously handled for delivery which is very dangerous,” she said.

She said she lost one of her relatives during labor due to negligence of midwives three months ago.

Nadera criticized the Baghlan health sector and said there was no blood bank in the civil hospital for women after delivery, besides many other problems.

Meanwhile, a midwife at the Pul-i-Khumri Civil Hospital, Aziza Mohammadi, acknowledged some problems in the hospital but said female professionals were trying to deal with all patients on time.

“The number of patients is much higher compared to the beds available in the hospital, responding to all patients is impossible particularly at the maternity ward which receives patients from the provincial capital and a number of districts,” she said.

She acknowledged six women were admitted to the maternity ward at the same time but said they had no other option.

The problems would not solve until a complete building for the hospital was built, Mohammadi said.

Abdul Halim Ghafari, Baghlan public health deputy director, told Pajhwok that 88 healthcare facilities were operational on the provincial level.

“Some of our health centers have maternity wards but others don’t have them because we do not have enough female professionals and advanced equipment,” he said.

He said work on the building of a new hospital in Pul-i-Khumri was underway and it would resolve patients’ problems once completed.

Besides Baghlan, a number of other provinces also have no healthcare facilities for women, which have created problems for local people.

mds/ma

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