The number one health concern in Afghanistan is the lack of safe drinking water. 85% of Afghan medical concerns are preventable with basic community health education that promotes behavior change. Many more are easily curable with only the most basic treatment.
However, medical care is unavailable in most of rural Afghanistan. One community elder told us, "We can afford $4 for medicine, but we cannot afford $40 to go and get it."
Morning Star Development opened the doors of its first medical clinic in the Tangi Saidan Community Center in July, 2004. Morning Star has since launched medical clinics in Lalandar, Jegdelak, Murad Khane, and at Kabul University. Rural clinics serve up to 50 villages which have no other access to medical care. Our well-qualified Afghan staff, including doctors, nurses, lab technicians, vaccinators, mid-wives, and support staff see 80 to 100 patients a day, mostly women and children. The clinic provides ambulance transport for patients who need treatment at a city hospital.
Community Health workshops are offered to assist women with basic hygiene, childbirth issues and general health education – information necessary to improve family and community health. According to the World Health Organization, one in five Afghan children die before age five, and one in seventy mothers die in childbirth (ten years ago the number of deaths was one in eight). Morning Star's birthing centers and immunization programs are dramatically reducing the occurrence of these tragedies and thereby improving maternal health and child survivability in the areas we serve.
To further extend the outreach of our clinic services, volunteers are trained as Community Health Workers (CHWs) to serve in their own villages. Volunteers receive over 100 hours of classroom and hands-on training, teaching them to address basic medical and first aid concerns right in their village.