22-year-old Sharifa is one of the thousands of Afghan mothers struggling to overcome the hurdles that are posed by a healthcare system weakened by decades of war, poor facilities, and social and cultural barriers that are difficult to break.
Dealing with around 500 births a month, our Maternity Centre in Afghanistan was getting too small. That’s why some time ago we decided to extend the facilities with a new building containing two delivery rooms, two operating theatres, a neonatal intensive care ward and a neonatal sub-ICU, an intensive care ward for the women who suffer complications during the birth, a clinic, a gynaecology ward, a follow-up area and a labour area.
“In short, a nice place for mothers and babies before, during and after every phase of the birth”, commented Luca, our Programme Coordinator in Afghanistan.
Last Tuesday, this idea finally began turning into reality: during a little ceremony with the local authorities and the elders of the surrounding villages, we laid the first stone of this new building. A project that’s much more than just a new building: it also means more healthcare for mothers and babies, more work and specialist training for Afghan women, more culture. And more rights, put into practice.