Under the reign of the Taliban, health care access in Afghanistan was very limited. Afghans who did have access were forced to walk for hours to see a nurse. Most medical professionals immigrated to other countries during those years.
Today, with the freedom to educate both boys and girls, the health care system is slowly turning around. Unfortunately, women still have very limited access to health care since only 2% of Afghan physicians are female. Although there are now over 150 government hospitals in Afghanistan many patients still need to travel to India and Pakistan, spending millions annually for quality medical care. There is still a huge need to train qualified men and women who will then train others to develop the health care system in Afghanistan.
Morning Star’s Hope Family Medicine Afghanistan, a three-year residency program in Kabul, trains men and women to become certified Family Medicine Specialists. To date, 32 doctors have been trained through this program and some are now training others to do the same.
Dr. F, a 2017 graduate of the residency program, is now leading a health clinic in downtown Kabul. His heart to see health restored to the urban population of Kabul has brought healing in areas of family medicine, pediatrics, dental care, and ante/neonatal care. This clinic was run by Morning Star 5 years ago but is now self-sustaining and staffed by two of our Family Medicine Specialist graduates. Trainees in our residency program are learning to provide high quality care to this needy, inner-city population.
We don’t only train doctors, but we train trainers. This can have a multiplying effect. For example, if each of the 32 doctors each trained 5 other residency doctors, there would be 160 d
octors after the first program and 800 by the next residency program. Well qualified, servant led, professionally implemented are all key aspects of developing a health care system in Afghanistan that will bring health and transformation to this developing country.