Pashtun Amarkhail| Photo: Noor Agha Sidiqzai

Strong determination and cultural limitations

Maidan Wardak is a province located in western gate of capital Kabul. You can only imagine about conflict and death of civilians as soon as you hear the name Maidan Wardak. Besides the lack of access to health, education and welfare services for the population, the routine and though life in the villages affect women and girls of this province.

The illiteracy rate among women of this province is very high. Mostly women are busy in though housework that requires a lot of strength and they rarely step out the door.

It is not only poor economy and on-going fighting that threat the life of residents, but also diseases such as Tuberculosis, Polio, Tetanus etc. and lack of access to health facilities.

However, in this province maternal health is threatened by cultural barrier. Several years ago, it was not possible to find even one midwife in the whole province. Women were not allowed to refer to a male doctor for treatment and that resulted to a very high graph of maternal mortality.

However, there were also women who stood against the barrier.  Pashtun “Amarkhil” was one of them.

16 year ago, when Pashtun “Amarkhil” came from Kabul to the village she saw that many mothers are in risk mortality due to lack of midwifes. She started SCA’s midwifery school and after 2 years of studies, she stared working as a midwife in the local clinic contentiously for 5 years. Now she is serving in the provincial hospital.

“My little daughter was sick, I went to local clinic for her treatment, there I considered  that the cultural limitations does not allow women to visit a male doctor. At that time I felt the need of becoming a female health worker. I thank Swedish Committee for Afghanistan for facilitating the opportunity of becoming a midwife to me.” Said Pashtun “Amarkhil”

SCA has trained most of the women as midwifes, who are now working in Wardak health facilities.  The facilities are well equipped and midwifes are trustable. Women from Kabul concerned for their health are also referring to Wardak midwifes.

 “I am very happy to have the opportunity of medical consultations with women.” Says Goulsoma, who is here for treatment.

15 births and 60 medical consultations are given on daily average of this hospital.