Zabihullah and Yasamin are husband and wife who are fresh graduates of the SCA supported three years physiotherapy diploma training programme namely “Towards Improved Quality Rehabilitation Services in Afghanistan” (TIQRA) project located in Mazar-e-Sharif city of Balkh province.
In order to evaluate the need for physiotherapists in Afghanistan, a joint mapping was conducted by the Handicap International along SCA and the Ministry of Public Health Afghanistan. TIQRA project was initially started in 2015 through financial support from the European Union (EU). The project has seven centers throughout Afghanistan of which three of them are managed by the SCA in Mazar-e-Sharif, Taloqan and Jalalabad cities.
Zabihullah and Yasamin are residents of Sar-e-pul province who were enrolled in the programme in August 2016. Their province was also mapped and the need for physiotherapists was identified. Yasamin said: “Our families wanted us to learn through this programme and work together to serve the people”.
There have been limited physiotherapy services in the Sar-e-pul province, the residents of their village are expecting Zabihullah and Yasamin to provide them with physiotherapy services once they graduate.
Zabihullah said: “since our province is affected by war, it has left many people with disabilities and since childhood I wanted to help my people”. He also added: “when I heard about this programme, I thought this is a great chance to learn and serve the people”.
Eligible individuals are selected by the Health Shuras (or councils) with placement approval from the District Hospital/Provincial Hospital/Regional Hospital and then through a competitive process, students are enrolled for a three-year programme.
“Many people aren’t aware of physiotherapy in our province, hence I will also work to increase the awareness of people on this, like how it can remedy their disabilities because disability doesn’t mean inability” said Zabihullah.
The SCA supported TIQRA project has graduated 98 students from three training centers in the end of February 2019 and apart from the certificate by the SCA, the students will receive their diplomas from Ghazanfar Institute of Health and Science (GIHS). It is worth mentioning that the course standard and curriculum was approved by the GIHS.
Yasamin added: “women and men both have equal rights to education, and I request others to allow their wife, daughters and sisters to have education and serve the people”.
Services provided to students throughout this programme included accommodation, monetary incentive, stationary, books/chapters, uniforms, toolkit at graduation and three months post-graduation supervision.