Building Rural Health Care Capacity

Date Published: 
Sunday, March 15, 2015

IOM’s CHEF Programme Provides Training Facility for Midwives in Bamyan Province

Infant and maternal mortality rates in Afghanistan are among the highest in the world, and only 16% of women are attended by trained personnel during pregnancy, particularly in rural areas. Ensuring that Afghanistan has the human resources it needs to provide sustainable health care services is a priority for the government and for IOM.

Through the Construction of Health and Education Facilities programme, funded by USAID, IOM has designed and constructed three provincial Midwife Training Centres (MTCs). The facilities will eventually bring reproductive health services to one million Afghan women.

The Bamyan MTC began operation in 2004 in a cluster of private buildings. Managed by the Agha Kahn Health Service, students attend classes for 24 months. The first class graduated in 2006 with 22 students.

In November 2013, a new USAID-supported MTC was opened in Bamyan. Forty-six students, a 175% increase from previous average class enrollments, are now attending the facility. The students come from not only the Bamyan area but also from other provinces including Daykundi, Maydan, Wardak and Baghlan. Of the 46 current students, 38 live full-time at the facility.

The 1,230 square meter MTC facility consists of an academic building with teaching space for 60 students, a dormitory and support facilities including a computer lab, a library and a conference room as well as a kindergarten and day care center.

IOM has provided support for the construction of schools, health care facilities, roads, government buildings and other key infrastructure projects in Afghanistan for over ten years. The organization’s skilled engineers, architects and construction managers have the capacity to deliver design and construction solutions meeting the highest international standards.

Infant and maternal mortality rates in Afghanistan are among the highest in the world, and only 16% of women are attended by trained personnel during pregnancy, particularly in rural areas. Ensuring that Afghanistan has the human resources it needs to provide sustainable health care services is a priority for the government and for IOM.

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